Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The debut record from Philadelphia’s Wanderlust, “Prize”, has been on my “desert island” list since the day I heard it in 1995. Arguably one of the greatest pop rock records of the 90s, “Prize” pretty much marked the beginning and the end of this wonderful band. Despite the great collection of songs, huge airplay for the single “I Walked”, a tour with Collective Soul, and an opening act for The Who, “Prize” didn’t catapult the band to the superstardom they deserved. While fans have no doubt enjoyed lead singer/songwriter Scot Sax’s newer projects, which include solo efforts, Queen Electric (review here), and Feel (reviews here), and guitarist Rob Bonfiglio’s solo work (review here), they’ve surely craved a reunion and new music from Wanderlust.
Fast forward to 2012 and that moment has finally arrived. Produced by Barrie Maguire (Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant), the new album is called “Record Time” and features 11 new songs and a newly recorded version of “I Walked”. Sax opens with a question on the song “Lou Reed”: “How do you write a song?”, which must be rhetorical as these guys certainly know their craft. “Lou Reed” captures the sound and spirit of the Wanderlust of yore, satisfying the appetites of fans who waited so patiently for more pop gems like this. A number of other cuts like this stand out, including the catchy “Friend Tonight”, “Fork In The Road” (reminding me of Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy”) , and the gorgeous ballad, “Blow Away”. Some others that grow on you after a few spins include the melancholy down-on-your-luck anthem, “Easy Street” (“If I am on easy street I must be in the traffic jam”), and the gentle acoustic lullaby, “Like Stars”.
The band loses me on some atypically unmelodious tracks near the end, such as “Photographic Mind” and the monotonous “You Make Me”. While I don’t foresee “Record Time” joining my desert island list, it is a welcome return that leaves me wanting more.
Wanderlust – Official site.