The Wonder Stuff

Suspended by Stars

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The Wonder Stuff continue their comeback, begun in 2004, with Suspended by Stars. A more cohesive album than Escape from Rubbish Island, the record shows that Miles Hunt and his new crew still have a fair amount of the punch and fervor they displayed during their original run. The songs are strong, too, with a balance of uptempo tracks like the jumpy "Give Us What We Want" and quieter moments like the nostalgic "The Sun Goes Down on Manor Road." The band sounds confident and competent, like journeymen. Opening track "Tricks of the Trade" is even a ringer for late-'90s Cheap Trick. Therein lies the problem with the album. Sounding like journeymen and late-period Cheap Trick isn't really a good idea if you want to end up with a record worthy of multiple listens. However strong the songs might be (and there are a fair amount of winners here), if they are coated with too much studio gloss and dragged down by uninteresting musical choices they are not going to make much impact. Suspended by Stars won't make much impact either, outside of a small circle of forgiving Wonder Stuff fans.

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