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Candlebox’s ‘The Long Goodbye’ (Album Review)

candlebox band members

Album Review by Jorge Pozo

Candlebox bids a powerful farewell with their final album, “The Long Goodbye,” a poignant collection that encapsulates their 30-year journey in the rock scene. Emerging during the heyday of grunge, Candlebox always stood as a distinctive figure, not merely confined to the genre’s limitations. Their departure marks the end of an era, but the music on this album roars with the spirit of a band that still has much to say.

Fronted by Kevin Martin, the band showcases a blend of raw energy and introspection throughout these 10 tracks. Producer Don Miggs brings a modern sheen to the proceedings, giving the music a rich, contemporary edge that’s befitting of their extensive career. The themes explored here delve into maturity, the passage of time, and enduring love, all delivered with a rock and roll attitude that hits with emotional resonance.

The album opens with “Punks,” a track that bursts with acoustic and electric vigor, announcing Candlebox’s unyielding presence. The lyrics serve as a cautionary tale to aspiring bands, a reminder that success is not eternal. “What Do You Need” follows, a heavier offering with a primal scream of independence. Featuring guest vocals by Nick Brown of Mona, the song surges with a mid-tempo beat, powerful drums, and soaring guitars.

Candlebox’s ability to fuse their signature sound with varied influences shines on “Elegante.” Straddling the line between their bluesy roots and a more contemporary style, the song stands as a testament to their evolution. The album moves seamlessly through diverse musical landscapes, from the bluesy swagger of “Ugly” to the psychedelic pop-infused “Cellphone Jesus.”

Noteworthy moments come in the form of introspective ballads. “Maze” strips down to acoustic simplicity, inviting listeners into a world of intimate reflection. The piano-driven “Nails On a Chalkboard” showcases Martin’s vulnerability and vocal prowess, creating a resonant power ballad.

As Candlebox approaches their final chapter, “The Long Goodbye” stands as a strong and fitting swan song. While it may not capture the riveting essence of their debut or the experimental potency of their sophomore release, it encapsulates a well-lived career that spans genres and eras. It’s a celebration of their journey, a final testament to their artistry, and a poignant reminder that good things, even legendary careers, eventually come to an end.

Rating: 8/10

CANDLEBOX The-Long-Goodbye-cover-art-copy

Musicians:

  • Kevin Martin / Lead vocals
  • Adam Kury / Bass
  • Brian Quinn / Guitar
  • Island Styles / Guitar
  • BJ Kerwin / Drums

“The Log Goodbye” Track-Listing:

  1. What Do You Need
  2. Who You Are
  3. Punks
  4. Elegante
  5. Hourglass
  6. Maze
  7. Ugly
  8. Foxy
  9. Running with the Stars
  10. Nails On a Chalkboard
  11. Cellphone Jesus
  12. I Should Be Happy

Order “The Long Goodbye” HERE.

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