Albatross didn't begin as a Big Wreck project. The band had broken up after the poor commercial showing of 2001's The Pleasure and the Greed, and lead singer Ian Thornley had gone on to form his own successful band, simply called Thornley, and life as we know it went on. Thornley is a fine singer, with a voice that mirrors Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, and he certainly didn't need Big Wreck to continue on with his career, but he reconnected with Big Wreck guitarist Brian Doherty after some years, and the two went into the studio to record with Thornley's current band. Albatross is the result, and the album was released under the Big Wreck moniker, even though it was essentially Thornley (the band) with the addition of Doherty as a third guitarist. That's the story, and the album itself? It certainly sounds like Big Wreck, although it may be a little bit more refined and polished, but tracks like the opening "Head Together," "Rest of the World," and the title track "Albatross" (easily the best and most striking cut on the album, and its first single) clearly fit the billing, sounding like a slightly diluted version of Soundgarden -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing, at least commercially, since there's still a huge fan base out there eager for more grunge-type bands and material. There's a little stretching out here, too, like the set-closer "Time," which is a pretty ballad with pretty harmonies, and Albatross is a good album for what it is, a new project from a band that seems frozen in the mid-'90s, but then Nickelback has done OK with the same approach, and this version of Big Wreck is a half step better than that.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett