Six years after their clichéd breakout single, "Cumbersome," Seven Mary Three has finally resolved their internal battle between being a guts and sweat rock band or remaining grunge holdovers struggling to stay relevant. The Economy of Sound shows Jason Ross' writing at peak form, and new guitarist Thomas Juliano kicks the group's sound wide open. Going back further than Pearl Jam and Soundgarden to grab from Replacements, Smithereens, and even the Attractions, the group came up with a brighter sounding, much broader-based rock sound than on any of their previous albums. The group spins focused hooks in all the right places, as on the catchy lead single, "Wait," but lets everything hang out on the punkish attitude of "Breakdown" and "First Time Believers." Ross does the mid-tempo sensitive-guy rock thing rather well on the Stonesy "Man in Control?" and the richly developed, highly personal "Tug." The angry grunge and faux-psychadelic experiments of the past now out of the way, Seven Mary Three smartly realizes they are best at being a mid-level rock band, and that's not really a bad place to be.
AllMusic Review by John Duffy