Filter – Title of Record

3 out of 5

Label: Reprise

Produced by: Ben Grosse, Richard Patrick, Rae DiLeo

Guys – I’m pretty sure I think Filter is pretty boring.  Like, I’m bored trying to write these reviews.  And it’s not an exclusive genre thing: I’m a Bush fan, goldernit, and I found some impressive pluses when sifting through, for example, Gravity Kills’ catalogue.  Everyone’s mileage varies, of course, but for me, Richard Patrick’s middle of the road vocals and produced-to-listenability aggro shouts and the predictable bursts of distortion and woefully rhymey predictable lyrics equate to some really bland stuff to my ears, even when the individual components seem arranged effectively.

And undeniably, Title of Record is a better and richer album than Short Bus.  The group stretches out into their own style, no longer copping NiN moves when they run out of steam.  This also means some ‘we’re grownups now’ bloat, like the god awful silly drum breakdown in the otherwise awesome opener, Welcome to the Fold, but the experimentation equals a win more often than not, flittering between radio friendly rock (hit single Take a Picture), moody vocal manipulations (Cancer), arena rock (I’m Not the Only One), or good old full throttle blasts (Captain Bligh).  The electronic / rock mash-up is still here, despite original member – and the electro half of the act – Brian Liesegang leaving; regardless, it’s still something of a mismatch most of the time.  The album fares better when it’s just going for the full band shtick.

There are some good songs here.  Some people also like Jars of Clay and whatnot.  It happens.