Welcome to My Party
First Appeared at The Music Box, May 2002, Volume 9, #5
Written by John Metzger
After the enormous success of When I Woke, Rusted Root struggled to find its muse. Despite the bandís ever-changing sonic textures and increasingly maturing songwriting prowess, its subsequent efforts Remember and Rusted Root failed to recapture the magic of its major label debut. With Welcome to My Party, however, Rusted Root is firmly back on track and at the top of its game.
Once again, change is in the air, and little on Welcome to My Party resembles anything on Rusted Rootís previous recordings. Nevertheless, the band continues to reshape and redefine classic rock, injecting it with modern styles to create its own distinctive brew. The opening Union 7 fuses Their Satanic Majesties Request-era Rolling Stones with the funky grooves of Parliament/Funkadelic. The disco-tinged Weave recycles Andrew Goldís familiar riff from Thank You for Being a Friend. And, People of My Village effectively blends Roxy Music with Pearl Jam.
Even better, lead singer Michael Glabickiís vocals have taken another step forward. Listen to his impassioned delivery on Why Cry ó one of the most subtly beautiful ballads the band has ever written ó or his perfect personification of Mick Jagger on Sweet Mary. Where his voice once sounded thin, itís now packed with emotion ó a natural progression, perhaps, but one which many singers with better voices fail to render.
What makes Welcome to My Party such a successful return to form, however, is Rusted Rootís reappearing rhythmic focus. On its last two efforts, the band never truly found the pulse of its songs. But here, each track is wrapped in percussion; each instrument and voice serves one purpose ó to feed the groove; and one song springs bouncily into the next with elastic intensity. As a result, the band taps into a primordial, tribal ceremony of sheer ecstasy, delivering a celebration everyone can enjoy.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box