Looking For Lucky

Hootie & The Blowfish

Vanguard Records, 2005


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Hootie and the Blowfish have a new CD. Someone alert FEMA. Or better yet, the EPA. I think we're about to have a Category 5 Mediocricane.

Look, I get it, OK? Hootie and the Blowfish aren't particularly a bad band; they just aren't any better than any one of a thousand bands out there who didn't get breaks, didn't get MTV exposure, didn't get to make videos with Dan Patrick. Hootie and the Blowfish are living proof of one of the axioms of the Saint of Sales, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs: "It's better to be lucky than good." Rather than a life of garage band wonder in Spartansburg, South Carolina, or wherever the hell they're from, they got five minutes of fame. They can play state fairs for the rest of their life on a double bill with Swing Out Sister and Glenn Medeiros, being giggled at by drunk thirty-somethings who are desperately trying to pretend they're still in college.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

And guess what? All their new CD, Looking For Lucky, does is perpetuate that streak of formulaic mediocrity. You still can't understand a damned thing Darius Rucker says without a lyric sheet and a competent speech pathologist. The rest of the band is still vaguely good looking, vaguely talented, and vaguely in the same key. They don't really sing harmony, they just all sing the melody at the same time. The production and engineering on the CD is OK; the musicianship still bugs me, since Hootie and the rest of the gang seem to have not changed the effects pedal on their guitars since, oh, 1991. Wide, fuzzy, and reverb-laden; it's like sterilized garage rock, genetically engineered to appeal to people who drive SUVs.

Oh, and once or twice there's a mandolin. Wow, is that ground-breaking or what?

The songs are boring. The lyrics are insipid. I would like to point out some particular high and low points, but there aren't any; it just all dissolves into a beige morass of unchallenging music. Looking For Lucky is easy and easily forgotten. This is a CD designed to be background music at a TGI Friday's. Only once do Hootie and his amigos break the mode, for "Leaving" -- which instead of being mediocre mainstream rock is mediocre country rock. This stuff makes the Eagles look like Morphine.

In the end, this isn't bad enough to be really notable and isn't good enough to waste your time on. Don't even bother, not even if it's in the cutout rack. If you want to know who's Looking For Lucky, it's Hootie, every time he looks in the mirror. Lucky that they still have a record contract, lucky they ever had a career.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2005 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Vanguard Records, and is used for informational purposes only.