As committed, professional musicians, they must surely realize that they could have...
Al Spicer 2007-11-09
Marti Pellow’s once absolutey pure voice has given way to an older man’s more world-weary gruffness, but shiny smooth production and studio magic are still very much part of the Wet Wet Wet sound. Timeless, the latest offering from the Wets, comprises eleven skilfully executed, if unchallenging pieces (plus a secret, hidden, instrumental and pointless twelfth cut) that are unfortunately, on the whole completely lacking in passion.
Despite the band’s impeccable musicianship and Marti's undeniable vocal agility, there's a faint institutional smell to this collection. It boasts plenty of stylistic variety, enough that it sometimes sounds like an eager young band's first attempt, but even though its string-drenched ballads come with a hint of Richard Ashcroft melodrama, and with words supposed to wrench sobs from a pitiless lover, Timeless is just too bloodless to reach anyone below pensionable age. Even the thinly-veiled drug references are presented in terms of tearful regret and nostalgia for the lost high, rather than with a robust refusal to look back on those bad old days. It's only when the band moves on from navel-gazing, and lets rip with a full-blown love song like "Real Life", that a frigid shudder sweeps over the Coldplays, Keanes and Snow Patrols of this world.
The guys make a cocky stab at funk in the single "Too Many People", and Marti occasionally leans back his head, half-closes his eyes and really tackles a swoon-making lyric but there are few genuine highlights. As committed, professional musicians, they must surely realize that they could have done much better; and that really is a crying shame.