Passenger Passenger

I admire the spirit behind Passenger — the desire to put out a heavy record that embraces some of the cooler strains of pop and rock — but in this case the spirit doesn’t quite carry through to the result. Sure, the end product manages to be both heavy and poppy, but it’s also pretty dull. "In Reverse,” the lead track, is an energetic and fairly encouraging start to the album. After that it’s mostly a few good riffs buried in a thick field of muck. Patrick Sten (Transport League), Niclas Engelin (Gardenian), and In Flames’ Anders Fridén and Håkan Skoger should think about dropping the side project thing and concentrating on their main bands instead. (Century Media)