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Pride: the Cold Lover

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Album Review

With the self-release of Pride: The Cold Lover, the Columbus, OH-based rock band Red Wanting Blue are now six albums and nine years into a career that began back at Ohio University in Athens in 1995, and, as revealed in lead singer Scott Terry's lyrics, the strain of paying dues and waiting for the big break is starting to show. After all, Red Wanting Blue are no effete indie band with a lo-fi sound and impenetrable vocals aspiring to make "art." Words like "indie" and "alternative" get applied to all musicians who put out their own music and don't get played on the radio, but Red Wanting Blue are really a mainstream rock band hoping to go platinum. Their sound is in the vein of Creed and Nickelback, with a solid rhythm section anchoring steady beats, over which a guitarist plays major chords in what he hopes are new textures with different effects, while, above it all and way up in the mix is the lead singer's husky, sonorous baritone, sounding achingly sincere. At times, Terry suggests Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, and at times guitarist Michael Epp manages effects in the mode of U2's the Edge, but Creed/Nickelback is the usual model. And there's no particular reason why Red Wanting Blue couldn't be just as big as those bands, under the right circumstances. They must be even more aware of that than anybody else, because Terry is writing words full of frustration and grim determination on this album. His favorite pronoun is "we," and he wants his listeners to know that, as he puts it in "Tearing Down Stars," "We won't stop." Nevertheless, his life on the road is getting to him and straining his romantic relationship ("Spies and Lovers," "Your Alibi"). It's hard to feel too sorry for him, though, since his writing doesn't reveal much in the way of an original talent. His words are full of clichés. (He seems to think that if you substitute a word — writing, for example, "Square pegs in circle holes" — it's not a cliché anymore.) And his sentiments, while doubtless heartfelt, are neither unusual nor expressed in a fresh way. Why should he and his band become big rock stars? Because they want it so bad and they've been working so hard and trying for so long, that's why. That may not be enough on artistic terms, but Red Wanting Blue may be right to persist. There are several songs here, with their emotive vocals and anthemic choruses, that could be hits, and if one of them were to be picked up for a movie or otherwise exposed, the success the band desires could be forthcoming.


Formed: 1995 in Athens, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Alternative rockers Red Wanting Blue formed at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, in 1995. Anchored by frontman Scott Terry, the band self-released their first album Velveteen in 1996. The Image Trigger followed two years later, and 2000's Model Citizen marked the first appearance of long-time bassist Mark McCullough. The band's fourth album, Sirens, appeared in 2001, and Souvenirs of City Life followed in 2003. The sixth Red Wanting Blue album, 2004's Pride: The Cold Lover, was a breakthrough of...
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Pride: the Cold Lover, Red Wanting Blue
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