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Alternative & Indie - Released July 9, 2021 | New West Records

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It's been 25 years since the Wallflowers hit it big with Bringing Down the Horse, a collection of songs—produced by the terrific T-Bone Burnett—that seemed like lightning in a bottle when the band never repeated its success. But in 2020, the movie The King of Staten Island reminded the world just how irresistible the album's "One Headlight" is. Seeing frontman Jakob Dylan join Beck, Cat Power and Fiona Apple onstage in the documentary Echo in the Canyon stirred a certain nostalgia. And the '90s are a huge influence in indie rock and alt-pop right now. The time seems right for a Wallflowers revival, and on Exit Wounds—their first album in nine years—they may not quite capture that lightning again, but there are traces of that old magic. You can hear it in the upbeat jangle of "Roots and Wings," with Dylan putting some swagger into lyrics like "I showed you how to swing/ I showed you how to strut/ That's my mojo you're using/ That's my wine getting you drunk." (The song also underscores how much more a matured Dylan sounds like Springsteen than like his dad, Bob.) It's also in the easy ramble of "I Hear the Ocean (When I Wanna Hear Trains)" and pretty-girl-in-trouble ballad "The Daylight Between Us," with weary lyrics like "The candles we lit had melted on the cake as if they were over it." There are surprises, too, though. "Move the River" revels in dub rhythms. The wonderful Shelby Lynne shows up—serving harmony on the pedal-steel country-rock of "Maybe Your Heart's Not It No More," taking a verse on the smoky ballad "Darlin' Hold On," and offering a brandy-rich counterpoint to Dylan's sandpaper rasp on all four tracks she graces. And "Who's That Man Walking 'Round my Garden" finds the usually stoic Dylan in a Jagger mood as the band stomps with funk drums, dirty guitar and the live-wire keys sound that is a signature of producer Butch Walker. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | Interscope

No sophomore jinx here. Of course, there are only two Wallflowers left from their first release, so this could be called a whole new band. No matter, because the music here is assured and contemporary with just enough of the past showing through to catch one's eye. Jakob Dylan has been polishing his compositional chops and it really shows on such cuts as "Invisible City," the hit "6th Avenue Heartache" and especially "One Headlight." A fine effort indeed. © James Chrispell /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2009 | Interscope

The Wallflowers never quite were a singles band -- each of their albums had its own distinct flavor -- yet they had a tendency to distill the essence of their records on a handful of highlights. Apart from their 1996 breakthrough, Bringing Down the Horse, none of these were major hits, but Bringing Down the Horse had four blockbusters -- "6th Avenue Heartache," "One Headlight," "Three Marlenas," "The Difference" -- that provide a foundation for the band's first retrospective, Collected: 1996-2005. As the subtitle suggests, this collection writes their gangly 1992 debut out of the record, concentrating on the time when the Wallflowers were just about the only rock & roll journeymen in America, cranking out sturdy singer/songwriter-driven classic rock. Collected has all their charting singles save their cover of David Bowie's "Heroes," originally released on the soundtrack to 1998's Godzilla, and wisely cherrypicks from their other three albums, offering a good overview of the band's appealing, dependable rock & roll -- an overview that acts as a good introduction but will also satisfy the needs of most casual followers. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | Interscope

When Jakob Dylan first debuted with the Wallflowers, nobody expected that he would ever escape the shadow of his famous father, and those doubts hung heavily above the band until their second album, Bringing Down the Horse, became an unexpected multi-platinum smash. In light of that success, Dylan became his own man, no longer seen as only Bob's kid. That freedom is evident on the Wallflowers' superb third album, Breach. At the time of its fall 2000 release, there was a lot of attention paid to Jakob finally writing about Bob, a subject he steadfastly ignored before, and it is true that several songs do clearly acknowledge his famous father. But that's not the most noteworthy thing about the album. What's remarkable about the album is that he is assured as a songwriter and bandleader. On the surface, there's not much different between this album and its predecessor, but the songs are stronger, sharper, and the performances are lean, muscular, and immediate. Andrew Slater and Michael Penn's clear, surprisingly varied production is a factor, but the credit goes to Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers; the band has never sounded better and Dylan has never been as convincing as a writer or singer. The result is the finest straight-ahead rock album of 2000. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released October 5, 2012 | Columbia

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Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Interscope

The Wallflowers' long-awaited third album, Breach, was a strong, confident record that demonstrated clear growth from Jakob Dylan as a songwriter and the Wallflowers as a band. Thing is, everybody ignored it. Critics wrote it off and the large audience Bringing Down the Horse attracted shunned it, leaving the band in an awkward position of having to prove themselves yet again with their fourth album, Red Letter Days. The first striking thing about the album is that its production is a clear reaction to the failure of Breach. Glistening where its predecessor had a semblance of grit, this is a polished mainstream rock record, designed to win back listeners who loved the band by hearing "One Headlight" on the radio repeatedly. Dylan has adjusted his songwriting slightly, too, playing up the hooks and the melodies, which is hardly selling out. Even so, it's hard not to wish that the album had a bit more of the quirks and muscle that gave Breach its backbone. Without it, Red Letter Days isn't quite as forceful, but it is accomplished, melodic, and attractive, especially since the simple fact is, there are very few bands making this kind of post-Tom Petty classicist rock in the 2000s, and those that do don't do it as well, which is why this album is welcome, no matter how glossy the production is. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1992 | Virgin Records

The Wallflowers' eponymous debut album is a little too studied and underwritten to make much of an impression, yet there are enough promising moments to suggest that the group was capable of the lean, contemporary folk-rock that made Bringing Down the Horse such a winning record. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | Interscope

The Wallflowers, particularly their leader, Jakob Dylan, can't catch a break. They're not only bound to be compared -- not entirely fairly but certainly understandably -- to Jakob's father, Bob, but an equally large burden is that they're a straight-ahead rock band in a time that doesn't value straight-ahead rock bands. They were able to ride the post-alternative wave to the top of the charts in the mid-'90s, when all guitar bands were lumped into a nebulous alt-rock scene, but just a few years later, in the aftermath of trip-hop, MTV Amp, and OK Computer, all big rock bands were expected to tackle the serious challenge of electronica, since that was the wave of the future and all. Didn't matter if they were groups as singularly unequipped to fuse loops and guitars as R.E.M. or Oasis -- they all made tentative attempts to reconcile classicist rock with futurist electronica. Not the Wallflowers. They stuck to their guns and made driving, songwriter-oriented rock & roll in the vein of Springsteen, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp. This stubbornness served their music well, but it won them no new fans, either among critics or the general public, who criticized them for being what they are: a working rock band, pure and simple. On each record, they have variations on their signature sound, given a slightly different spin depending on what producers they work with, but that's what most rock bands, good or bad, do -- they make records and go on tour. This happened more in the '70s and '80s than in the '90s and 2000s, when dwindling audiences and corporatization kept bands off the road and out of the studio for long stretches of time, but the Wallflowers remain a rock band in the traditional sense, mining a similar vein on Rebel, Sweetheart, their fifth album, as they did on their first. While there are no musical surprises here, this is a better album than its predecessor, Red Letter Days, not just because it's a stronger, more varied set of songs, but because they finally have a perfectly matched producer in Brendan O'Brien. Like his recent productions for Bruce Springsteen, O'Brien helps focus and revitalize the Wallflowers, opening up the music through subtly textured overdubs but also giving the band a harder attack than they've ever had. Simply put, they've never sounded better as a band than they do here, and they've never had a record as robust and interesting on a pure sonic level as they do here. Not that Rebel, Sweetheart offers anything all that different from previous Wallflowers albums -- they just do what they do better than they have before. Ultimately, there's a certain comfort in knowing that the Wallflowers can deliver sturdy, engaging classicist rock like this, since it makes them different from other rock bands of their time in yet another way: they're reliable. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2021 | New West Records, LLC

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 9, 2021 | New West Records, LLC

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 8, 2021 | New West Records, LLC

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2021 | New West Records, LLC

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 24, 1997 | Interscope

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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | Interscope