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Red Letter Days

The Wallflowers

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Album Review

The Wallflowers' long-awaited third album, Breach, was a strong, confident record that demonstrated clear growth from Jakob Dylan as a songwriter and the Wallflowers as a band. Thing is, everybody ignored it. Critics wrote it off and the large audience Bringing Down the Horse attracted shunned it, leaving the band in an awkward position of having to prove themselves yet again with their fourth album, Red Letter Days. The first striking thing about the album is that its production is a clear reaction to the failure of Breach. Glistening where its predecessor had a semblance of grit, this is a polished mainstream rock record, designed to win back listeners who loved the band by hearing "One Headlight" on the radio repeatedly. Dylan has adjusted his songwriting slightly, too, playing up the hooks and the melodies, which is hardly selling out. Even so, it's hard not to wish that the album had a bit more of the quirks and muscle that gave Breach its backbone. Without it, Red Letter Days isn't quite as forceful, but it is accomplished, melodic, and attractive, especially since the simple fact is, there are very few bands making this kind of post-Tom Petty classicist rock in the 2000s, and those that do don't do it as well, which is why this album is welcome, no matter how glossy the production is.

Customer Reviews

Contagious...

If you can listen to "Closer to You" without a smile breaking across your face and thoughts of "I can't believe how ridiculously GOOD this song is!!!" dragging themselves through your head...well, congratulations for redifining stoicism.

Most underrated Wallflowers album

I absolutely love Red Letter Days- the music is instantly catchy and memorable, the lyrics sublimely humourous. "Closer To You" is quite possible the best single Wallflowers since "6th Ave Heartache" but I also dig "How Good Can It Get" and "If You Never Got Sick", which never fails to make me laugh.

How Good It Can Get

Three Ways is lyrically the best song the Wallflowers have done, and Everybody Out of the Water is their hardest rocking. I disagree with the i-tunes review; This album wasn't a reaction to declining album sales of Breach - It was simply the band daring to make the best music possible rather than trying to imitate Bringing Down The Horse. Despite the lack of huge commercial success, I think that song for song it's their best album. There's nothing phony about these guys. Health and Happiness is a great and lyrically intense break-up song. Too Late To Quit is very inspirational. When You're On Top has that whole Tom Petty vibe, yet stays true to the band's sound. How Good It Can Get is classic Wallflowers. In 2009 rock music is in a bad place and very desperate for a new British or Grunge type of invasion. Turn on the radio and listen to how shallow most bands are. These guys are a real rock band, and their recent show at the Aneheim House of Blues proved it.

Biography

Formed: 1990

Genre: Rock

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

As part of the mid-'90s revival of roots-rock, the Wallflowers held a special connection to one of the original inspirations: vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Jakob Dylan. Though he is the son of a legend, Jakob's similarities to his father are occasional — in fact, the Wallflowers are more influenced by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers...
Full Bio
Red Letter Days, The Wallflowers
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