Album Details

October 21, 2003
Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Album Review

After the welcome and unexpected one-two punch of Stereo and Mono in spring 2002, Paul Westerberg was back in action and semi-productive again after a three-year recording layoff and an even longer spell away from the concert stage. With three albums and a documentary DVD due within a space of six months between fall 2003 and spring 2004, it is hard not to be impressed and pleasantly surprised with Westerberg's sudden burst of ambition in his home studio, but the first album from his newly industrious phase, Come Feel Me Tremble, doesn't give one enormous confidence in what lies ahead. Sharing a title and some material with the documentary that followed Westerberg on his post-Stereo tour and during his sessions in his basement studio, Come Feel Me Tremble, for the most part, sounds like outtakes from the sessions for Mono -- sloppy, meat and potatoes hard rock with Westerberg's patented goofy swagger ladled over the top. It is fun stuff and sounds just fine, but at the same time it is hard to ignore the fact that Westerberg has done this before plenty of times, and better as well on more than a few occasions. A few of the album's later tracks shoot for something deeper and darker -- the goofy but troubling ode to alcohol "Knockin' 'Em Back," a vengeful rocker about his father's wartime experiences called "Pine Box," the mournful "Meet Me Down the Alley," and a compelling cover of Jackson Browne's "These Days" -- but even these sound like songs that didn't quite hit their mark, as if this album was the musical equivalent of a scratch-and-dent sale. Come Feel Me Tremble isn't bad, and one senses this album was simply meant to be a holding action that would give the unreleased songs from the documentary a non-bootleg home on CD, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a genuine disappointment after the creative comeback of Stereo. At the same time, of course, it is still a better album than either Eventually or Suicaine Gratifaction.
Mark Deming, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Dirty Diesel
  2. Making Me Go
  3. Hillbilly Junk
  4. Soldier of Misfortune
  5. My Daydream
  6. What a Day (For a Night)
  7. Wild & Lethal
  8. Crackle & Drag [Original Take]
  9. Crackle & Drag [Alternate Version]
  10. Never Felt Like This Before
  11. Knockin' Em Back
  12. Pine Box
  13. Meet Me Down the Alley
  14. These Days
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