The Wallflowers quietly entered an extended hiatus after the 2005 release of Rebel, Sweetheart, spending the next seven years flitting between tours and inactivity. During the downtime, Jakob Dylan pursued a solo career, generating respectable enough results, but eventually the band -- complete with founding keyboardist Rami Jaffee, who had left during a supporting tour for a greatest-hits compilation -- regrouped in 2012 to record Glad All Over, a vivid, colorful album that has very little connection to the austere Women + Country, Dylan's last solo album. After stripping his music down to the bone, Dylan sounds giddy to flesh out the skeleton with the assistance of a sympathetic band, sometimes augmented by his hero Mick Jones. With him aboard, the Wallflowers wander into Big Audio Dynamite territory -- complete with a lyrical shout out to Joe Strummer, "Reboot the Mission" acts as a de facto BAD tribute, while "Misfits and Lovers" splices those clean, modernistic lines with Wallflowers straight-ahead rock & roll -- and that suggests just how much ground the group covers on Glad All Over. As the record rolls on, the Wallflowers dabble with a number of different sounds, unleashing a full-on Motown bounce on "Have Mercy On Him Now," grooving with a gritty electric piano on the opener "Hospital for Sinners," letting the open road stretch out before them on the shimmering "Love Is a Country," and kicking up some dust on "It Won't Be Long (Till We're Not Wrong Anymore)." The Wallflowers don't abandon their identity as rock & roll classicists, they just now feel the freedom to mess around, and they've come up with one of their loosest, liveliest records that not-so-coincidentally is one of their best.
Glad All Over Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine