With their second album, Turn It Upside Down, the Spin Doctors lost nearly all of the audience they had gained with their debut, Pocket Full of Kryptonite. On Turn It Upside Down, the band attempted to explore elastic, groove-oriented territory and left behind the simple, catchy songs that made the debut a hit. Perhaps because the result was a commerical disaster, the band has returned to pop songs for their third album, You've Got to Believe in Something. Although it doesn't have the ingratiating charm of Pocket Full of Kryptonite -- after all, those songs were in the band's set list for years before they actually recorded them -- You've Got to Believe in Something does have its fair share of catchy moments. The first single, "She Used to Be Mine," is a blatant return to the goofy Steve Miller boogie of "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong," but it works. Furthermore, that is what the band does well -- when they stretch out, like on the bonus cover of KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)" recorded with Biz Markie, the band falls flat on its face. They don't stretch out too much on You've Got to Believe in Something to make it the son of Turn It Upside Down, but they also don't come up with enough hooks to rival Pocket Full of Kryptonite. It just falls somewhere in the middle, which makes it a return to form, of sorts.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine