As leader of The Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan has done an exceptional job at establishing his own identity, unloading the celebrity baggage that inevitably goes along with being Bob Dylan's son.
At 30, the younger Dylan has plenty of star stature of his own, and he'll likely build upon that further with the Wallflowers' third album, Breach.
Dylan's rootsy, straight-to-the-heart musical vision can be heard right from the outset with the potent pairing of the true grit, guitar-driven “Letters from the Wasteland” and the quieter, far more revealing “Hand Me Down.” There's already been considerable buzz about the latter song, primarily because it delves into Dylan's own thoughts on the famous familial relationship.
But “Hand Me Down” is just one of several stellar songs on this set. “Sleepwalker,” with its killer hook and clever references to Sam Cooke's “Cupid,” has major commercial potential. A running keyboard line traces the melody on the tender “I've Been Delivered,” Mitchell Froom's horn arrangement helps color the Tom Petty-styled southern echoes of “Witness,” and Elvis Costello's backing vocals give a major lift to the hard-charging power pop of “Murder 101.” There's also a very sweet lullaby “Babybird” that slips in as a hidden track tagged onto the end of the album.