Review Summary: Rabbit isn't bad, it's just incredibly dull.
Collective Soul really surprised me with Afterwords
. It wasn't as though I didn't have any faith in the band to replicate the excellence of Collective Soul
, but it had
been eight years and two records since they had released anything of substance. Yet, not only was the record excellent, but in "New Vibration", "Persuasion of You", and "Adored" Collective Soul had written some of the best songs of their careers. So maybe "Welcome All Again" would have fit better than the quasi-comeback Afterwords
. Not only is just as good as anything on the Collective Soul's 2007 release, but it would have sounded a lot more relevant.
was not a huge commercial success, it was good enough to suggest that maybe Collective Soul had enough left in the tank to continue their career at the same level as it was in 1999. "Welcome All Again" doesn't quite open the group's second untitled album (for simplicity's sake, I'll just call it Rabbit
like everyone else) with as much infectious energy as "New Vibration", but its strength is testament to Collective Soul's endearing sound. So what happened after that? After "Welcome All Again" the remainder of Rabbit
sees Collective Soul reverting back to the most tepid moments of Blender
. First single "Staring Down" is the exception here; the mid-paced melodic rock isn't particularly new, but it's memorable enough to remain likeable.
Beyond that, there isn't much interesting about Rabbit
. There are a few catchy choruses scattered throughout the record, most notably in "She Does", but for the most part the record is dull and forgettable. Between the heavy rock of a song like "Lighten Up" and mellowness of "You", Rabbit
isn't aesthetically different from past Collective Soul works, so it's difficult to see where the band went wrong. The only legitimately awful song is "Understanding", a track that attempts to combine the band's heavier and softer dynamics. The idea itself isn't all that terrible (or original), but the song lacks the execution to actually make it work, and the transitions between the two styles are awkward at best and god-awful at worst.
"Understanding" aside, it isn't as though Rabbit
is a bad record, it's just incredibly dull. Considering Collective Soul's track record this decade, it really isn't much of a surprise, but given Afterwords
' excellence, it's still disappointing. It has nothing to do with the lack of risk taking; neither Afterwords
strayed very far from Collective Soul's established sound, and both records were fantastic. No, for the most part Collective Soul simply sounds uninterested and as result, Rabbit
ends up being nothing more than a cheap copy of the band's more accomplished material.