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Rusted Root
WELCOME TO MY PARTY
(ISLAND/DEF JAM)

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You canít fault this Pittsburgh-based jam band for attempting to throw into their music everything theyíve ever taken a shine to ó if nothing else, the feat defies the music industryís effort to niche-market every last ounce of creative energy it discovers. But feel free to blame Rusted Root for failing to make the resulting hodge-podge vibrate with any of the passion or ingenuity of its constituent parts.

Most of the bandís fourth album rolls along amiably enough, but itís a predictable good time (the perfect soundtrack to an undergraduate game of foosball, perhaps), with each vaguely Eastern string motif, rocksteady guitar lick, and moody pop-rock drum roll entering the mix on cue, as if directed by some out-of-touch marketing exec. And singer Michael Glabicki is no help: his overbearing baritone remains pitched somewhere between Creedís Scott Stapp and the dude from the Crash Test Dummies as he describes the object of his affection as "greedier than sex but sexier than greed." At least veteran producer Bill Bottrell (the same guy who gave I Am Shelby Lynne its cozy country-soul synthesis) captures Rusted Rootís mediocrity in all its lackluster glory.

BY MIKAEL WOOD

Issue Date: June 6 - 13, 2002
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