Style: Hook-laden rock; compare to Crows, Elvis Costello, and Big Audio Dynamite
Top tracks: "Hospital for Sinners," "Love Is a Country," "Reboot the Mission"
Jakob Dylan has always seemed like a serious fellow, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders as he sang po-faced songs about sin and salvation. He cut a couple of austere solo albums, and now he's back to The Wallflowers—sounding, almost shockingly, like he's ready to cut loose and have a good time. Aided by Clash luminary Mick Jones, the band has cut its most limber, most groove-centered album yet, and it's a roaring good time. Dylan is getting his feathers ruffled, but his songs still have a lot of weight: The opening song, "Hospital for Sinners," surveys an old church building, calling it a "museum of saints." Almost as good is "Love Is a Country," a shimmering paean to love's hardships—and to its capacity to endure.1