Tuesday, August 16, 2005

311 CD Release

Don't Tread On Me

2.5 out of 5 stars

There was a time, not long ago, before Conor Oberst and company ruled the Omaha scene. This was a time when 311 was spreading the word about "Omaha Stylee". This Rasta-rock group may not hail from that sizable midwest town anymore, but they still rule the realm when it comes to their genre.

On their eighth studio album, 311 have once again shown they can produce feel-good music that is easy on the eardrums. However, age seems to have become a factor in their latest musical effort. They don't seem to lean as much on the in-your-face rhythms that characterized hits like "Down", "Creatures (For a While)", and "Beautiful Disaster". Instead, they have mellowed much of their sound to match previous radio-friendly tracks like "Amber" and "Beyond The Gray Sky".

After giving the album a few listens, I regretfully have to say that it isn't 311's strongest work. I'm sure it will eventually grow on me, but it doesn't usually take me long to pick out what the hot tracks will be. Aside from the first single, "Don't Tread On Me", there doesn't appear to be anything that will rock the airwaves. All the same, the album flows well and should satisfy the many fans out there who have supported 311 throughout the years.

Key Tracks: Speak Easy, Whiskey & Wine, Frolic Room

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