The Year is 1994. I am a freshman in high school and a buddy comes
up and gives me a CD to check out. When I Woke by Rusted
Root?? Who/What in the hell is that? So I go home and give it
a listen. Seconds after I hit play, my room erupts with the sound
of the wicked "Drum Trip." Not knowing what hit me,
"Ecstasy" to "Send Me on the Way." Damn that
CD was/is great.
Rusted Root burst onto the scene with their
major label debut When I Woke. With their tribal beats
running throughout all the songs, Root brought a unique sound
to the starting-to-burn grunge era. But before the recording of
the follow up, original member Jenn Wertz left the band. Undaunted,
Remember hit the shelves in 1996 but didn't do to well
at least compared to When I Woke. Where
was the "Ecstasy"/"Send Me On My Way"-type
hit single many critics wondered.
Thing was, I loved this CD
with it containing
two of my favorite Root songs, "Sister Contine" and
"Bullets In The Fire." In 1998, Rusted Root hit
the shelves with a little less impact then Remember. It
was not a bad disc
but something was now missing. It was
as if the band was no longer into what they were doing. Then it
word leaked out that the band was taking a break
and doing solo projects for a while. It really looked like the
end of a band that had become one of my favorites.
So no one was more surprised than I, when Rusted
Root was slotted to play the Landmark
Theater in Syracuse, NY in October 2000. So we go to the show,
only to see Jenn Wertz was back with the band. How the hell did
that happen? The band was tighter than ever.
So now fast forward to 2002, and the first Rusted
Root studio album in 4 years is hitting the shelves. Lets get
this out of the way now. I loved Welcome to my Party. Next
to Remember, it could be my favorite Rusted Root CD. You
can never top When I Woke, but as a whole, this CD is much
and looks to put Rusted Root back into the spotlight.
This is a much different band than the one from 1994, an older
and wiser band. Sure, the extended drum jams are missing from
the CD but the songwriting/musicianship is the tightest it has
ever been, as the disc is brimming with highlights.
While "Union 7" opens the disc, "Welcome
to my Party" is the song that gets you into the disc. A noticeable
trend on the disc is lead singer Michael Glabicki's willingness
to step away from lead vocals, a trend started with "Moon,"
sung by Liz Berlin on 1998's Rusted Root. Welcome to my Party
is no different; as it features the haunting "Blue Diamond,"
a duet with Glabicki and Berlin, "Weave" which features
Glabicki, Wertz, and Berlin, and "Too Much" another
Highlights on the disc include, "Welcome
To My Party," Blue Diamond," "Too Much," "Sweet
Mary," "Hands Are Law," and "Why Cry"
"Welcome," "Too Much," and the soulful "Why
Cry"" being my favorites. The disappointments on the
disc were not many but somewhat significant. Rusted Root CDs always
opened very strong so "Union 7" was a disappointment,
especially with stronger openers on the disc. No matter how much
I tried, I just could never get into "Weave." The only
other noticeable disappointment was as the woman came to the fore
front with Glabicki, other members Jim Donovan, John Buynak, and
Patrick Norman seemed to fall more into the background. While
this may just be my idiotic opinion, it is a great "Dead"-like
trend to have all the members starting to take the spotlight at
some point. This is a great disc and should be picked up
doubt about it. No matter how jaded I was after a four year wait
(sadly I am a Van Halen fan so who knows how freakin' long I will
have to wait for that one), I really enjoyed the disc and it is
since been a constant in my disc player.
|1. Union 7
2. Welcome to my Party
3. Women got my Money
4. Blue Diamonds
6. Artificial Winter
7. Too Much
8. Sweet Mary
9. Hands Are Law
10. Why Cry
11. People of My Village