Review Summary: If your looking for some melodic yet intense music that has it's fair share of hooks and angst then you'll enjoy Wonder What's next. Just don't place high expectations on it as it's just another hard rock album and suffers from being way too generic and c1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Wonder What's Next was the next chapter for Chevelle's career as the boys made their major label debut and jumped into the already saturated Hard rock genre. As most know, the genre has it's fairshare of pitiful bands but has some good bands and Chevelle is one of those. Wonder What's Next is their most successful album so far but that doesn't mean it's their best. If anything it's their worst.
Everything on the album is satisfactory barring a few incredible bits but as a whole the album comes off as a mostly bland an uninteresting affair that doesn't seperates itself from the already reeling genre and doesn't make the genre any more worthwhile to listen to.
The predecessor, Point #1 was a much more thrilling and original album overral mainly because of it's unfocused nature which payed dividends for the album. For this offering, Chevelle focuses more on writing catchier songs withe a brooding sensation to them. Perhaps the main factor to that is the producer GG Garth Richardson as he is known to have produced some hit acts like Nickelback, Mudvayne and the utterly crap and generic Hedley.
Instrumentally wise the album is nothing great as both guitar and drums are adequate and have their fair share of moments but the most disappointing aspect instrumentally is the bass. The bass is sparsely heard throughout the record and the basslines are un-orignal and hug the guitars most of the time. The best basslines can be heard in the fantastic "An evening with el diablo". It's amazing bassline overpowers throughout the song and adds an amazing demension to the music. The song itself is one of the darkest songs on the album and one of the best. It features some really cryptic and dark lyrics.
Try to run, when near sleep.
To imagine, us away.
He said come, fly around my hell,
And know this, you seem to be,
Too scared to run.
The lyrics are another problem with the album as Pete Loeffler's topics rely too much on personal relationships as Pete loeffler gives a candid view to his personal life and that is very cliche of rock music now a days. The lyrics seem to be go in the same direction and are nothing that make you think. But one thing that makes them somewhat bearable on some tracks is the amazing amount of maturity on some of songs.
Some tracks have some really bone crushing riffs as evidenced in the incredible helmet-esque Family system. Once again, the song is based around, essentially, a family system but the maturity can be seen when pete screams "Grow up! As is the case with almost all of chevelle's openers, the opening is a false sense of security until a bone crunching riff comes in and the song ends with a destructive conclusion. A true gem.
The 2nd song is probably one of the better songs "comfortable liar" offers one of the best riffs from Chevelle and its destructive and powerful rythm stays consistent throughout the track until the little break and a little bass solo comes in. The lyrics have some nice imagery and are very interesting to listen to.
Broad, is this sea
The salt, enters the wounds
My take, on you is simple
So heal, your fear
To heal, your fear
Time, spent wading off shore
The calm, before the storm
My take, from you is simple
The best song on the album is the title track. It's probably Chevelle's most poignant song and the most angriest. It's unrelentless nature makes it very good to head bang to and Pete's vocals are much more aggressive in this one. The main highlight and probably one of the best bits off the album is the little monologue in the middle of the song.
In the beginning it seems that no one
Thinks beyond having fun which is why
You write music in the first place always
Moving, refining, pushing forward the art
That one's creating, looking to the right
Time to share it, and then the headaches
Of criticism senior advisors unseen people
Above twisting and distorting that which we
Love, and never ending problems with
Money holding you back preventing progress
I thought you only started 'cause it was fun
Closure is an uphill ascent from ballad to power and is one of the more beautiful tracks off the album. The lyrics are full of realization and Pete Loeffler sings pleasantly about his confessions until the last minute just explodes into an eruption of release. Very good song.
The problem is that, other than a few of the bits off the album. Wonder What's Next is too much of the same and the rest of the songs have nothing distinct about them. Including the hit singles "Send the pain below" and "The red", that sound exactly like what is out in mainstream rock and doesn't help Chevelle stamp it's distinct identity. Forfeit, Don't Fake this, Grab thy hand and the mopy and terrible One lonely visitor are all sub par and don't have anything distinct about them. The rest of the tracks, have something about them that makes them stick out from the rest, it's just too bad those moments don't outweigh the boring ones.
If your looking for some melodic yet intense music that has it's fair share of hooks and angst then you'll enjoy Wonder What's next. Just don't place high expectations on it as it's just another hard rock album and suffers from being way too generic and catchy for it's own good.
Wonder What's next
An evening with el diablo
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