Candlebox – Candlebox

ARTIST: Candlebox                                 220px-candleboxdebut

TITLE:  Candlebox

YEAR RELEASED: 1993

CHART ACTION: #7

SINGLES: Change (#18 Mainstream), You (#78, #18 Alternative, #6 Mainstream), Far Behind (#18 US, #7 Alternative, #4 Mainstream), Cover Me (#23 Alternative, #8 Mainstream)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Don’t You

LINEUP: Kevin Martin, Peter Klett, Bardi Martin, Scott Mercado

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Non alternative-rockers became successful thanks to their location and successful marketing.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Instead of focusing what Candlebox wasn’t (alternative, or grunge, or groundbreaking), I’m going to focus on what this album is.

What we have here is generic hard rock – not as edgy or metallicly punkish as Soundgarden – not as dark and disturbed as Alice in Chains – but rather generic hard rock that would have been on the radio in the 70’s and 80’s (but with 90’s drum and guitar sounds). Some songs go on WAY too long (thanks to the CD era, editing is out the window), and some are lifeless exercises.

The resentment for Candlebox (and yes, there’s resentment, and somewhat legitimate) is due to their marketing and branding as ‘grunge’ or a ‘Seattle’ band. Yeah, they’re from Seattle. They play rock. But location doesn’t an alternative band make. That resentment can color your acceptance of them. What I hear is passable hard rock that probably would have been a hit of some sort through time. It just so happened it was during the grunge era.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This thing took a year to hit the Top 10 in albums, thanks to the slow realization that “Far Behind” was the single of choice.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: C+:  They don’t deserve ALL of the slings and arrows thrown at them, just some of them.

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