Candlebox – Disappearing in Airports – Album Review – 91%

Candlebox was formed around 1990 and have been together off and on in some fashion for over 25 years.  I have to admit have never been a huge fan of them over that time.  Of course, I enjoyed their big hit “Far Behind” and I do have their greatest hits album. I never went and listened to any of their albums in full from beginning to end.

That has all changed.  When the album came out back in April 2016, I thought what the heck, I will give it a listen.  WOW!!!  This was not the album I was expecting at all.  I had to make sure I was actually listening to the correct band and album.  It was such a refreshingly, unexpected and incredible listening experience.

I know I am a little slow in getting a review out, but that is because I couldn’t stop listening long enough to actually write a review (and also because life gets in the way sometimes).  I finally feel it is time for me to let the world know that Disappearing in Airports is so worth listening to and a must have for any one remotely interested in Candlebox or any one reading this review.

The band’s lead vocalist, Kevin Martin, is the only original band member. The band is also made up of Dave Krusen on drums, Mike Leslie on lead guitar, Adam Kury on bass and Brian Quinn on rhythm guitar.  They have definitely brought a different, more mellow sound to the band.

The album opens up with “Only Because of You” which was not the Candlebox I remembered.  The song was not the heavy, hard rock song I thought I was going to hear. Instead it was a soothing sounding song and a touching love song but done in such a way that seems like the right choice to open the album. Kevin Martin has never sounded better.

The first single was “Vexatious” and the 2nd song on the album.  This was a little more like I was expecting along with the next track “Supernova”.  Both exceptional rock songs that make me turn up the volume a little louder than I am sure is recommended. “Vexatious” is about people’s obsession with taking selfies/technology and missing the world around them.  “Supernova” appears to be about sex.

They slow it back down with “Alive At Last” and Kevin’s voice gets a little more gritty in the chorus which is what I am used to hearing from him and what I like to hear from time to time.

Then they kick it back up a notch with “I’ve Got a Gun”.  At first listen, I thought it was a gun protest song.  After really listening to it, I think it is poking fun at how people act over the whole gun policies of the country and not necessarily anti-gun.  I could be wrong, but songs are open to interpretation.

Candlebox goes back to a little slower song with “I Want It Back” before rocking out again with “The Bridge”.  When the song started, I thought I was listening to a Foo Fighter song with the way the guitars sounded at the beginning.  Another one of my favorite songs on the album.

They slow it back down again…notice a pattern.  The song “Spotlight” is my least favorite song on the album.  It doesn’t have the punch that I look for in a song.  It will be the only song I delete out of my library.

“Crazy” is next up and back to a harder sound.  I am digging Kevin’s vocals on this one, especially during the chorus.  They keep the pace going and get a little harder on “God’s Gift”.  This song is exactly what I was expecting from the whole album.  This song is representative of the Candlebox I remember.  I read in one of their interviews that the song was inspired by Kanye West.  That makes me like the song even more to know that it is a slap in face to Kanye!!.

The album ends with “Keep on Waiting”.  The guitars have a little blues sound to them but still a rock song.  When the song ended, the album started over and I enjoyed it again and again.  Thank goodness for the repeat setting.

The production on the album is so solid and clean.  I am not sure how to explain it other than there is a style and sound that is held throughout the album and each song fits perfectly in place.  The flow throughout is such that the album would feel different if the songs were in any other order.  It is like they were meant to be placed where they are.

Track Listing:

  • “Only Because of You” – Keeper
  • “Vexatious” – Keeper
  • “Supernova” – Keeper
  • “Alive at Last” – Keeper
  • “I’ve Got a Gun” – Keeper
  • “I Want it Back” – Keeper
  • “The Bridge” – Keeper
  • “Spotlight” – Delete
  • “Crazy” – Keeper
  • “God’s Gift”– Keeper
  • “Keep on Waiting” – Keeper

10 keepers out 11 songs – 91% (4.5 out 5 stars). Candlebox put together almost the perfect album.  It is a hard rock album that isn’t too heavy but not too soft either.  I think the writing is spot on both musically and lyrically and I am not sure they could have done any better.  It sounds like they have definitely matured over the years.  This will make my list of Top albums in 2016, no doubt.

 

 

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