Theory of a Deadman – “Wake Up Call” Album Review

Theory of a Deadman – “Wake Up Call” (Roadrunner Records)”
By: Brian Campbell


With “Wake Up Call,” Theory of a Deadman do themselves a major service by delivering an album that’s closer to Maroon 5 and Coldplay than Nickelback or Buckcherry, though the band’s new found mature pop rock stylings make for an uneven mixed bag of an album.

“Wake Up Call” is actually bookended by its two best offerings, “Rx (Medicate),” a poignant take on America’s dependence on mind and mood altering substances as told through dusty Americana, and “Wicked Game,” a cover of the timeless Chris Isaak track. Theory of a Deadman pay quite the homage to “Wicked Game,” staying close to the original with lush orchestrations and ethereal vocals. Outside of the second and 11th tracks of the album respectively, “Wake Up Call” is mostly inconsistent (opener “Straight Jacket” holds up as one of the album’s best offerings, TOAD trades frat boy, misogynistic lyrics for massive melodies and memorable hooks on “Echoes” and “Wake Up Call,” “PCH” is closer to Walk The Moon than anything else). Unfortunately for listeners, it’s at this point that TOAD sit back and put things on cruise control until “Wake Up Call’s” closing track, delivering a string of listless, vanilla pop rock entries (“Glass Jaw” is about the only saving grace of “Wake Up Call’s” second half thanks to some Muse-type atmospherics and proggy guitars).

“Wake Up Call” starts out much better than it finishes, but as the old saying goes, it doesn’t matter how you start, it matters how you finish. Some credit is due to Theory of a Deadman for stepping out of their comfort zone and their willingness to adopt a new sound in order to adapt with the changing musical landscape. If nothing else, “Wake Up Call” shows just how far the band has come since the “Bad Girlfriend” days.

Track List:

1. Straight Jacket
2. Rx
3. Echoes
4. Wake Up Call
5. PCH
6. G.O.A.T
7. Loner
8. Time Machine
9. Glass Jaw
10. PO Mouth
11. Wicked Game

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