CD Review: Freedom Run [2011]

 The Rifles
Release: 9/2011
Label: ATC
Comments: There comes a time in a music reviewer’s life when it’s clear as day that a band has softened up. I like to call this trend ‘going softie’. Now, I heard a couple cuts off this record before it was officially released and held off posting them on here. I thought, well, The Rifles can’t be going softie! The rest of the new record won’t sound like this, right? Well, admittedly, The Rifles aren’t the brashest of rock and roll bands in the world. I don’t think they ever claimed to be. They are well-rooted in The Jam and maybe some of Weller’s other projects, including solo. So, yes, we aren’t talking classic punk rock here. Freedom Run is boring. The Rifles take some of their past tricks, which have been terrific, and dumb them down for a more mainstream audience. Shame! It’s hard to listen to them descend into some kind of Coldplay schtick. I won’t give them all the blame, though. As a fan of music, maybe it’s me after all. Maybe I’ve grown tired of the bright and twinkly stuff that I loved two years ago. Maybe this album is better than I’m making it out to be. Or maybe I just miss the heavy-hitting, rock N roll of “She’s Got Standards” and “Repeated Offender.”

Grade: C/C-