The Wallflowers
Bringing Down The Horse


4.5
superb

Review

by El_Goodo USER (19 Reviews)
May 6th, 2006 | 27 replies | 9,786 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Being the relative of a famous musician can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you decide to look at the situation. On one hand you could invision being given a free pass through the world, being able to pursue any dreams that you have, and (if your dreams happen to be that of a musician) to know that people will listen to your album simply because of your last name. But ironically the fact that people listen to your album only because of your last name might be discouraging. You may feel that no matter what you do you cannot escape the shadow that your famous relative casts over you. Though it may be hard to sympathize with celebrity-relatives, (especially with some of the talentless people who recieve press, and attention only because of their family name) some of these people have to endure constant comparison to their famous relative, and sometimes even having their own works overlooked because of those comparisons. But sometimes when one is able to overcome the odds placed against them, and free themselves from any expectations. They are able to break-free from the shadow, and shine on their own.

Jakob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan, and lead singer/songwriter of The Wallflowers is a prime example of someone who was able to overcome to odds and shine on their own. Although on The Wallflowers self-titled debut album Jakob managed to do everything that would cause comparisons to Bob, he was able to turn it all around with The Wallflowers second album "Bringing Down The Horse." Although Jakobs voice often sounds eerily like Bob and you can often hear Bob's influnce in Jakobs lyrics, the songs themselves recall thoughts of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. The Counting Crows who's lead singer Adam Duritz makes an appearance on the track Sixth Avenue Heartache also appear to be an influence on the band.

The album starts on a great note with One Headlight a hauntingly beautiful song complete with a catchy sing-a-long chorus. Jakob proves that he is the proper heir to his fathers throne throwing out lines like "It feels like independence day, and I can't break away from this parade," "This place is old it feels like a beat up truck, I turn the engine but the engine doesn't turn." And of course the catchy yet though-provoking chorus "Come on try a little, nothing is forever, there's got to be something better than in the middle, me and cinderella we brought it all together, and we can drive it home, with one headlight." The next track shows no signs of a dip in quality as we get to Sixth Avenue Heartache, continuing in the vein of "One Headlight" the song provides thought-provoking lyrics over a catchy melody making for a great song. Fellow alternative-rocker the Counting Crows' Adam Duritz can be heard on backing vocals throughout the chorus' and during some of the ending verses. Durtiz's fits nicely within the song, and makes for a great touch. The album continues on in the same fashion with Bleeders, and the incredible single Three Marlenas. Before the tempo is increased on the straight up alternative-rocker The Difference, the main focus is still Jakob's singing and lyrics but this time it is backed by a catchy distorted rhythm guitar. It contains some points of lyrical genius such as Sometimes old men die with little boy faces, and once again Jakob delivers an instant sing-a-long chorus wailing out th paradoxical line The only difference, that I see, is you are exactly the same as I you used to be. Invisible City, slows things back down but only for a minute before Laughing Out Loud another upbeat track reminiscent to the Difference brings us back into the rocking mood. Joesephine, God Don't Make Lonely Girls, Angel On My Bike, and I Wish I Felt Nothing bring the album to a glorious end. All the song's continue the trend of poetic lyrics, accompanied by a sing-a-long melody.

With Bringing Down The Horse Jakob was able to intergrate his fathers influence into his others influences, and then modernize the sound with strong melodies, and catchy hooks. But what really sets this album apart from Jakob's contemparies is that he is able to provide us with some incredible lyrics to go along with the hooks, and melodies. Which is a lot harder than it may seem.

Track Ratings
One Headlight - 5/5
Sixth Avenue Heartache - 5/5
Bleeders - 5/5
Three Marlenas - 5/5
The Difference - 4.5/5
Invisible City - 4/5
Laughing Out Loud - 4.5/5
Josephine - 4.5/5
God Don't Make Lonely Girls - 4.5/5
Angel On My Bike - 4/5
I Wish I Felt Nothing - 5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
May 6th 2006



4827 Comments


Good review, the only track I've heard off this is One Headlight, and it was real good.

El_Goodo
May 6th 2006



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should at least check out Sixth Avenue Heartache or Three Marlenas, they may pursuade you to go out and buy this album. I got it for $4.00 canadian at a King Of Trade store.

black guy
May 6th 2006



47 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I just listened to this recently and realised that Jakob Dylan has absolutely no vocal range at all. It kinda makes the music a little boring after awhile.

All pretty good songs though.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
May 7th 2006



2125 Comments


I loved this band when I was 8 years old, I should check this album out again.

Patrick
July 28th 2006



1891 Comments


I like Sixth Avenue Heartache slightly more because of the wicked awesome slide guitar thingy.

El_Goodo
June 24th 2007



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm disappointed in the lack of love for this album it is a perfect folk/rock/pop album. Jakob is a great melody writer and his lyrics can be brilliant. I'll agree that he does have a limited vocal range though.

Squamish
July 10th 2007



84 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, almost every song is awesome.

Nikkolae
May 4th 2009



4389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

when this album came out i was pretty discouraged by how much they burned that song out on mtv, im sure i will check it out again, great review

Digging: Corrupted - Paso Inferior

thebhoy
Emeritus
May 4th 2009



4459 Comments


anything I heard on the radio was mildly enjoyable, Sixth Avenue and Heartache and Three Marlenas. I wouldn't listen to a whole album of this band I don't think.

random
January 5th 2010



2243 Comments


I feel like I want this.

PSM
February 10th 2010



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love most of this album. Great melodies, simple rhythms complementing them along with some amazing harmonies. The only reason I went with a 4.0 instead of 4.5 is because as the album goes on, I personally get a strong sense of that "end of the album is weaker than the first half of the album" plague. Talk about music for a specific mood, though.

BigHans
July 26th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Angel on my Bike ftw

SanguineCream
December 3rd 2012



591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good to see some of sputnik like these guys. Liking the shit out of the new album right now

random
March 27th 2013



2243 Comments


"One Headlight" is a '90's staple of the radio.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013



18612 Comments


one of my first albums one headlight was such a jam back in the day

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013



18612 Comments


I think i remember one song from fastball lol

TheSpirit
March 27th 2013



16662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

LOVE THIS ALBUM SO HARD

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

TheSpirit
March 27th 2013



16662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ONE TWOOOOO THREEEEE MARLENAS

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2014



7762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just showing up here before Hans does

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

BigHans
January 31st 2014



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha.

Dude, Angel on my Bike is a jam



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