The Radiators

Dreaming Out Loud

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The Radiators are the type of band that will never quite go away but will never reach great amounts of success. Road tested and having ample supplies of talent, the group, led by singer Ed Volker, conjure up some sweet, soulful rock during "Ace in the Hole." But there's nothing remarkable about the song; it's just a song by a band that could do this brand of rock in their sleep. That's not to say it's not catchy, but it comes off as being done many times before. However, they slow things down with a rather mundane, ordinary "Dreaming Out Loud" that instantly brings to mind a run-of-the-mill Bob Seger B-side without the pizzazz or sizzle. It's also rather odd to have a six-minute ballad so early in the album. Another oddity comes along in the light, breezy, island-tinged "Wrestling with the Angel," which doesn't quite hit the mark. Musically the album is all over the place, with no sense of direction as judged by the mediocre and bland pop/rock oozing out of "Rub It In" which suffers from too much padding. The first track that has a great flow is the tender, toe-tapping "Lost Radio" that screams to be played in barrooms everywhere. And it manages to hold up throughout the unusual five minutes and change. Another nugget is "The Man Who Lost His Head" that is greatly influenced by classic hits by Sam & Dave. Yet for every good song there are two that don't live up to expectations, especially "Don't Pray for Me." One highlight is the slow, tender and thoughtful "The Death of the Blues" that hits the line perfectly between soul, blues and Americana and gels nicely. A close second is the slow, shuffling and jaunty "Good Things" that is sure to put a spring in one's step.

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