Vigilantes of Love

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Shortly before signing his first major label deal, singer-songwriter Bill Mallonee had assembled a full rock band, and plugged in the once-folky Vigilantes. This is their first rock album. Producer Jim Scott (Sting, Mark Heard) aimed for a Gin Blossoms gloss. The band is more subdued here than in concert, and some of these tracks feel pretty lightweight. There are a few great, radio-friendly songs here (the title track is easily the highlight), but the new electric sound adds little to Mallonee's razorsharp cultural critisism. The only Christian in the band, his literate lyrics are at their best when layered with Biblical references. They are at their worst when layered with clich├ęs ("The distance grows wide between the glory and the dream"), but that doesn't happen often.

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