Chris Whitley Rocket House

This is a producer's album. Or more like an over-producer's album. Rocket House isn't so much an album of songs as it is arranged electronic abstractions with songs conveniently matched in between often very successful studio machination episodes. All this is quite exciting and enjoyable for, oh, about five minutes. Then the sneaking suspicion that you got suckered into a blockbuster kicks in - wildly gratuitous special effects, high budget cast (Dave Matthews and Bruce Hornsby step in occasionally) and nice scenery, but alas, no plot to speak of. The result is that all this electronic abstraction (manned admirably by DJ Logic) overtakes the record and becomes more interesting than the songs themselves. The peak of tedium sets in with the third song, "Chain," where you'll find yourself racing for the remote to skip over yet another chorus of "Round and round/it goes round/round and around" - a track surely only added to the record to allow for a piss break. In essence, Rocket House is too much vindaloo, not enough chicken. (ATO)