I must admit I was caught by surprise when I heard that Common Children was releasing a new album. From the way they made it sound when we talked to them and from the fact that lead singer Marc Byrd was already involved with other projects, I never thought another album would be conceived. But here you have it, folks, the third release from the boys of passionate melodic rock, Common Children.
The album opens with "Absence of Light," a track reminiscent of "Stains of Time" from the band's last project, Delicate Fade. While the sound seems less orchestrated and more emotional, it basically serves the same purpose "Stains..." did, and that is to set up the album for the listener. How does The Inbetween Time compare to Delicate Fade? You can almost consider it Delicate Fade 2, as the more melodic and emotional songs are present. Common Children has developed this almost dream-like edgy modern rock sound since their rough gritty debut Skywire in 1996. Once that album left the band often compared to Nirvana, Common Children sought out new musical direction. This was first introduced 2 years later with Delicate Fade and has been carried on with their third and latest release The Inbetween Time.
If the album does suffer from anything, it's having too many songs that sound alike. With each listen, the clump of tunes begins to pull apart, but overall, you may feel lost among the soft echoing rhythms of this disc. While I will be the first to say I'm a Common Children fan, I'm a mildly disappointed at how similar each song seems to be, especially to a lot of their previous material. However, this is undoubtedly an excellent collection of songs, original or not for the group. There isn't a bad song in the bunch. Whether it's the thumping bass of "Free" pulling you in or the upbeat pop rock sounds of "Entertaining Angels" grabbing your attention, you're liable to find some easy listening rock songs on this disc.
The Inbetween Time is a good project for a band to produce after reuniting, but from a band like Common Children, who you may expect a little more from, it may leave the listener wanting a lot more than the 12 tracks offered. Excellent, but just not different enough from the band's previous efforts to really stand out, The Inbetween Time is worth a listen, but don't expect to be knocked off your feet.- Review date: 9/25/01, written by John DiBiase
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