Let’s face it, not every album in every band’s back catalog can be spectacular. Let’s hope that the latest from Rogue Wave is simply a misstep on their way to a brilliant career. While I really loved their excellent 2005 album Descended Like Vultures, their latest, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate just ain’t doing it for me. Sure it’s good, and better than a good portion of what was released this year. It just isn’t as good as the Bay Area foursome’s previous two records. Asleep at Heaven’s Gate sounds like exactly the record that Rogue Wave wanted to (and may have needed to) make.
Maybe it has to do with the band’s departure from Sub Pop and their new affiliation with Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records or perhaps it is the band trying to get back up to speed after drummer Pat Spurgeon’s unfortunate kidney trouble last year but Asleep at Heaven’s Gate sounds unfocused. It seems to be an ambitious (and perhaps a little indulgent) record for the band that just doesn’t work. Sure, it is still Rogue Wave and there are flashes of what makes me like the band so much but the many additional layers of sound just end up obscuring what (to me at least) was the band’s best quality; their songs. The songs seem meandering and muddled and just don’t measure up and even frontman Zach Rogue’s usually endearing vocals just seem to get lost along the way. I applaud them for it, but its just not my cup of tea. Judge for yourself
MP3 | Rogue Wave – Lake Michigan Asleep at Heaven’s Gate
MP3 | Rogue Wave – Fantasies Asleep at Heaven’s Gate