Wallflowers Red Letter Days

This band continues to be a guilty pleasure for the simple reason that, despite making some of the slickest "modern rock” out there, there still is something deep down in Jakob Dylan’s songs that is struggling to get out. However, if the Wallflowers keep making records like this one, what this is we may never know. After suffering through what was essentially their sophomore jinx, 2000’s Breach, Red Letter Days should logically contain some changes. Guitar duties do fall into a few more hands but, in general, the bland, overwrought production once again smothers whatever life was originally in Dylan’s songs. He can still occasionally turn a good phrase — his delivery on first single "When You’re On Top” vaguely resembles his father’s "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” — and that remains the great irony about the Wallflowers: Jakob clearly wants to live up to Bob’s legacy, but he makes the kind of stodgy records that Bob has never even conceived of doing. Until Jakob reconsiders his approach, his band is doomed to be forgotten, just like almost every other project by sons of famous rock stars. (Interscope)