Candlebox May Be a Lot Older Now But Experience Has Aged Them Like Fine Wine

4.4 out of 5 stars

If the first song off Candlebox’s new album Wolves isn’t an indication for the tone of the band these days, I don’t know what is.

That song (titled “It’s All Down Hill From Here”) details the life of being in a band for the better part of 30 years, dealing with fame and all its byproducts and how there are rises in falls in the careers of rock musicians. 

Autobiographical may be an understatement, but the song is rocking as hell. Also, you don’t have to ever have been a touring musician to understand the hardships explained in the song.

Much in the same vein of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” the song makes sure not to complain about their fame, but instead just acknowledge it and set limited expectations for the next chapter to come.

Another cool thing about the song is that it was co-written by Christopher Thorne of Blind Melon who also knows a thing or two about the realities of fame and trying to bottle lightning.

The next song on the album continues this theme without being so self-deprecating and looking for a bit more mercy when the reckoning comes. The song is called “Let Me Down Easy” and is more about looking at the exit plan and hoping it isn’t going to be devastating when it all comes to an end.

From what I can tell the next three songs “Riptide”, “Sunshine” and “My Weakness” are all love songs with a bittersweet mix of love and fall out. Musically, “My Weakness” is a really rocking, straightforward song that pumps a lot of energy into the album. 

Most of the rest of the songs are about relationships and the ups and downs (focusing more on the downs, it seems), but if you listen to them at face value with the music and just know that there is a tempered sadness in each song, it makes them all deeply personal without really getting too specific. It’s an odd balancing act that seems to work pretty well.

And, if you know anything about Candlebox, you will hear the familiar voice of lead singer Kevin Martin belting the runs and the fills that he is known for while hitting high notes and doing his signature yell to add extra passion and power to a lot of the songs.

Overall, I would say this record is better than their biggest album Candlebox which featured the biggest singles “Far Behind” and “You.” 

The reason I say that is this album is so much more versatile and musically more interesting. A lot of that first album sounded too similar to really get me excited to listen to it too often. However, “Far Behind” is absolutely one of the best songs of all time, and to say anything to diminish the individual songs on that first album would be borderline blasphemy as a Candlebox fan.

Just do yourself a favor and listen to this album if you like Candlebox or ever have, because it is a damn good album.

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