Candlebox

Candlebox

Warner Brothers Records, 1993

http://www.candleboxrocks.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/01/2005

Very much of the early 90s, Candlebox is one of those post-grunge bands that tended to emerge between 1992 and 1997 with regularity. Yet another Seattle band with a similar sound to the better-known bands of that city, the group nevertheless hit it big with the hit "Far Behind."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Yet the group had more of an impact that was at first realized, because they helped commercialize the sometimes-willfully-obscure sound of grunge to make it more palatable to the mainstream. Where Nirvana could turn punk and Alice in Chains flat-out metal, bands like Candlebox were safe but still somewhat credible.

The music of Candlebox mines a similar strain as Pearl Jam, that of a classic rock feel with slight blues leanings and the loud/soft, minor-chord dynamics of 90s alt-rock. "Far Behind" remains the best song here, but by no means is the rest of this filler; as 90s rock albums go, this one isn't half bad, if wholly derivative and rarely powerful or emotional, the way Pearl Jam's best music is (side note: Is there a better rock release of the 1990s then Ten? Discuss).

"Don't You" is a muscular opener and "You" has a decent riff that breaks open into a guitar solo (really) partway through. "Arrow" has elements of Guns 'n' Roses and "Rain" is a bluesy song that isn't half bad, considering that blues never really played a part in the grunge sound. "Cover Me" sounds similar to what has come before but takes an acoustic approach.

Candlebox remains a solid, mostly unremarkable debut that helped set the stage for the commercializing of alternative rock. A sound so rooted to a time and place does not make for a classic album or a sound that ever breaks out of its mold, but the disc still has a few joys for those who enjoy this era of music.

Rating: C+

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© 2005 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Brothers Records, and is used for informational purposes only.