Puddle of Mudd – Re:(Disc)overed – 2011

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Music

Known for their unique vocal styling, energetic live performances, and catchy songwriting, Kansas City’s Puddle of Mudd have found their groove. In a ten year career that has seen over 7 million albums sold, as well as a string of #1 mainstream rock singles in the U.S., the band has never been satisfied with their successes.

While the band hasn’t maintained their commercial glory over the last couple of releases (their debut Come Clean sold over 5 million copies), they haven’t strayed from the path of writing solid, chart-friendly rock and roll. Add to that the fact that the band has toured nearly non-stop over the last decade, it is no surprise that they still gather immense respect from fans and media alike.

Currently at work in the studio writing and recording new material due next year, Puddle of Mudd put down their pens for a minute to record a tribute album of sorts in the form of Re:(Disc)overed – a ten track album of hand-picked cover songs.

While you would think the band (judging by their ages) would be more inspired by Pearl Jam or Bruce Springsteen, this collection is heavy on the 1970s, which was a great time for rock and roll.

“We chose a lot of things that were challenging,” guitarist Paul Phillips told Billboard Magazine. “People hear Puddle’s gonna do a covers album and they think it’ll be Nirvana and the Ramones and Metallica and stuff like that. And that’s something we wanted to do, but we wanted to stretch our legs, and it was a very challenging thing to have songs that have piano and these big, crazy arrangements and stuff.”

The fact is, the most “recent” song on the album is the Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty tune “Stop Dragging My Heart Around”, which owned the airwaves in 1981. Even though the band chose to take the “way-back-machine” on this journey, there’s not a song here you won’t immediately recognize.


What the band did right here, in my opinion, is stay pretty attached to the original versions on most of these classics. Scantlin’s vocals add enough variety, eliminating any need to reconstruct any of these tried and true hits. According to Phillips, the band opted to stay pretty faithful to the originals: “They’re not slavish copies; these songs do have a Puddle of Mudd flavor to them, but we didn’t go in and change parts just to make it sound more like us.”

And he couldn’t have said it better. Puddle of Mudd gives respectable treatment to every track here, from the wicked rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” to the riotous revision of AC/DC’s “TNT.” What surprised me was how easily the band modernized these tracks along the way. The “little-bit-of-this” and “little-bit-of-that” have freshened up these songs enough to have them stand proud next to any any modern rock single released this year.

There’s not a rotten apple in the basket here (due to the fact that all of the original songs chosen were pretty damn good), but some of the standouts include Steve Miller’s “The Joker”, Free’s “All Right Now”, Bad Company’s “Shooting Star” and Led Zepplin’s “D’yer M’ker.”

For me, the best of the bunch came in two forms – “Everybody Wants You” (the great Billy Squier classic) and Funk #49 (the most “obscure” selection originally done by the James Gang). But as stated, there wasn’t anything wasted here.

The iTunes version will include “With a Little Help From My Friends” (The Beatles) and “Cocaine” (Eric Clapton), but I haven’t had the chance to wrap my ears around those yet. If the rest of this album is any indication, those should be fantastic as well.

The only thing stopping me from a perfect rating is that – in all honesty – these songs all belong to someone else. They have been re-imagined masterfully here, but it really is only a tease for what the band will be bringing to the table in 2012. If even a couple of the songs presented here were a part of your past, I highly recommend picking this album up. Die-hard Puddle of Mudd fan? You probably need to buy it as well. If neither applies, you can borrow my daughter’s Justin Beiber CD. There – now everyone’s happy…

8/10

Tracklist:
01. Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
02. Old Man (Neil Young)
03. TNT (AC/DC)
04. Stop Draggin My Heart Around (Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty)
05. The Joker (Steve Miller Band)
06. Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier)
07. Rocket Man (Elton John)
08. All Right Now (Free)
09. Shooting Star(Bad Company)
10. D’yer M’ker (Led Zeppelin)
11. Funk #49 (James Gang)

Buy at Amazon

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