Puddle of Mudd aren't bragging with the title of their third album, Famous, nor is its title song a self-congratulatory ironic anthem like Nickelback's "Rockstar." No, Puddle of Mudd are literal, sneering at the young Hollywood celebs who are famous for being famous -- read, the holy trinity of Britney/Lindsay/Paris -- spitting out insults over a cleaned-up Nirvana riff, one that's been polished with the assistance of hard rock writer-for-hire Brian Howes, who has penned hits for Hinder and DAUGHTRY. Howes isn't the only new name here -- drummer Greg Upchurch and guitarist Paul Phillips bolted after the 2004 release of Life on Display, replaced by Ryan Yerdon and Christian Stone, respectively. On Famous, Wesley Scantlin avoids any icky, nasty emotions in favor of slick soundcraft. This results in an album that's hookier than Life on Display -- thanks in no small part to all the professional songwriters aboard, including Kara DioGuardi, who in no small irony has written with Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine