The Wallflowers’ ‘triumphant return’

Written By Nicole Chynoweth

“I lost my sight but not the vision” – It’s a lyric which not only perfectly describes The Wallflowers’ invigorated sound but also their triumphant return to the studio on their latest album Glad All Over. As the band’s first studio album since 2005, it brims with intriguing narrative and soulful instrumentation. The album is a cohesive collection of stories, told through Jakob Dylan’s whispery pitches and a bluesy alternative rock landscape, sculpted by Rami Jaffee, Greg Richling, Stuart Mathis, Jack Irons and Jay Joyce. Each track showcases a practiced talent and a solidified sound.Glad All Over ushers its audience into the band’s fresh material with “Hospital for Sinners,” which serves as an energetic message that affirms though The Wallflowers have not collaborated for some time, their sound remains unyielding and fiery. “If it’s a comeback you want / Then get your hands raised” establishes the dark tour de force vibe of the album.The Wallflowers’ familiar haunting tone is present throughout the tracks, such as “First One in the Car,” which is quite reminiscent of their 1997 hit “One Headlight.” The same mysterious quality can be heard in “It’s a Dream,” which is more upbeat but also echoes an uncomfortable tension within its story. Though The Wallflowers have maintained some elements of their sound heard in previous albums, they do not rehash the same hooks and chords. The band sounds refreshed lyrically and musically.Perhaps one of the most captivating facets of the album is the band’s ability to traverse such a wide catalog of emotions. From the sinister, wavering bass of “The Devil’s Waltz” to the dramatic swelling of “Constellation Blues,” The Wallflowers’ tone varies song to song. The meticulously arranged instrumentation allows the audience’s journey to venture beyond examining lyrical content. The experience is also about the rumble of a bass drum, the heat of a guitar riff, and the grace of a piano key.Dylan’s songwriting capabilities shine with tunes like “Misfits and Lovers,” a nostalgic tale of youth, trouble, and finding one’s self. “The best kinds of trouble happen when the gate is locked,” demonstrates Dylan’s ability to capture a very specific feeling with his words.The best moment of the album comes with “Reboot the Mission,” as the lyrics recite the band’s desire to continue making their art. With The Clash’s Mick Jones assisting on guitar, the song has funk, positivity, and an infectious rhythm. The song reveals the band’s creativity has been brewing to produce an album of this caliber, as Dylan states, “I got to say it Jay we’ve had it coming.”Bright and confident describe The Wallflowers’ efforts on Glad All Over. Despite a few years’ absence, the band has hardly lost their touch or chemistry.