Brad Arnold’s arena-hopping quintet may now have only one original member and rarely hover far above Nickelback territory in the post-grunge credibility league, but with 20 million sales they’re surely crying all the way to the bank.
To their credit, they haven’t tried to pander to critics or follow trends on this first studio album in five years, and instead play to their strengths. Meaning they’ve never sounded more like a polished pop-rock machine.
You can sing along with the chorus of each of the 11 tracks by the end of just the first listen, each title is between two and four words long, and Arnold’s soul-patched voice has rarely sounded better. And while Love Is A Lie and The Broken are built on radio-battering, air-punching hooks, tracks such as In The Dark and Us And The Night at least have a certain lascivious, INXS-style groove to add some welcome shade to the colour palette.
You want depth, originality, surprises? Look elsewhere. But as the rock equivalent of comfort food, they don’t disappoint.