A Worm's Life

Crash Test Dummies

BMG, 1996


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


After coming up with one of the most likeable albums of the 1990s, God Shuffled His Feet, Crash Test Dummies had to conjure up something special, as a follow up. Sadly, they couldn't. The follow up, A Worm's Life, is somehow disappointing. Though the album is worth listening to, it is however, a very normal album, offering nothing more than a collection of strictly ordinary songs. There is nothing wrong about being prosaic; an album can be ordinary and still be good. But, this particular commonplace album just seems seriously incomplete.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album has some great songs, like the beautifully cacophonic "Overachievers," the funny single "He Liked To Feel It," the simple but inane "Our Drive Gestures," and the smartly written, "I'm Outlived By That Thing?" Still, the album seems like a bit of a disappointment, especially since it comes out as a follow-up album to an absolute masterpiece. But, I don't think that my high expectations alone are responsible for the cause of my disappointment with this album. Even otherwise, without considering its predecessor, it would still seem as good/bad as it does now.

One of the main reasons, I feel, is the change of producers for this album. After the brilliant production work by Jerry Harrison on God Shuffled His Feet, the band somehow felt that it is capable enough to produce an album on its own. The result -- A Worm's Life -- is produced by the band members, themselves, and the production lacks vitality. No song is bad in this album; it seems as if the band hasn't done justice to most of them, making them sound as if they are haphazardly done demo versions of the songs.

A good production doesn't necessarily mean that an album should be layered. A good production can make the simplest song sound good, by just guiding the song in the right direction. This is what is lacking in this album: the songs are directionless. The band is not yet ready to take on the task of production of an album. A Worm's Life could've been a whole lot better, had the band stuck to their old producer, Jerry Harrison.

Rating: C-

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