Welcome To My Party – Rusted Root
Island Records 3145867762
When Rusted Root first appeared on the national scene back in 1994 with
When I Woke, there weren't any other acts that sounded like them. The
worldbeat rhythms, the skittish guitar playing, and Michael Glabicki's
baritone combined for a sound that was not only unique, but presented a
celebratory alternative to alternative rock.
Over the years, the band members proved that they could still stir up a
crowd with their upbeat arrangements but, over the course of three albums,
wavered between primal, percussive songwriting and attempting to
transform the material into something more straightforward.
It worked on the band's debut, while their sophomore effort suffered greatly
to overbearing production. Things seemed back on track on their 1998
self-titled release, but record company restructuring left that disc
without any proper marketing. This brings us to the sextet's latest trip to
the studio, Welcome to My Party.
I don't fault the group for using funk as just another element in its
musical cabinet of rhythm-based styles but it just seems like too much and,
with the beginning of the album heavy on the genre, too soon.
The strengths of the band have always been the interweaving of
instruments. The tapestry of sound created something that was a formidable
union of rock, worldbeat and more. "Artificial Winter" is just one example
a handful of tracks that wonderfully shows such a mix continues to hold a
wealth of power.