Home Read Classic Album Review: Blues Traveler | Bridge

Classic Album Review: Blues Traveler | Bridge

The jam band adopt a cleaner, leaner approach on their sixth studio release.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


The past couple of years have been a period of loss for Blues Traveler — some good and some bad.

On the upside, once-dangerously rotund singer John Popper now looks positively svelte; on the downside, druggie bassist Bobby Sheehan died (and has been replaced by guitarist Chad Kinchla’s brother Tad). Both developments seem to have found their way into Blues Traveler’s sound, which seems slightly cleaner and leaner on this sixth studio outing. Fear not, fans: Popper’s supple vocals and scale-running harp work are still the heart of the band. But on these 12 songs (most of which clock in around four minutes or less) the hippie-dippie noodling and rambling jams have been exchanged for tastefully restrained solos and poignant, honest sentiment — especially on the touching Pretty Angry, a bittersweet sendoff to Sheehan on which Popper laments, “I don’t know which was the bigger waste of time / Missing you or wishing it was me.” Ultimately, it seems their losses — both sad and celebratory — are our gain.