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Craving Theo - Craving Theo Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 January 2002
Columbia Records
performance 5
sound 7
released 2002

Listening to Craving Theo is akin to experiencing musical déjà vu all over again, as memories of grunge, primetime Guns ‘N Roses and ‘90s self-pity rock all come back as in a dream. This album opens with the words "why, why, why are you kicking me," and seemingly paraphrases that exact same question multiple times -- only in only slightly differing hard rock variations -- the rest of the way through.
Singer Calvin Baty has his Ian Astbury pose down pat, and his three other band mates support him with big powerfully noise heavy metal riffs. For the most part, this is music to shoot up and die to – "Alone" is actually about such a suicide case – and even when Craving Theo takes a few baby steps toward a rock boogie beat, as with "Hold Me "Down," the song is yet one more of those, "The whole damn world’s holding me down, and I can’t get up" complaints.

On the song "Lie," Baty misguidedly goes for a Gavin Rosedale-like guttural vocal tone, which rather than selling the sentiments of the song, renders it almost
completely unmusical. It’s like listening outside the bathroom door to somebody
puking within. Not pretty.

With "Welcome Your," Baty plays Axl Rose to his bathroom mirror with annoying results. You half-expect the mirror on the wall to tell him to shut up and get a little therapy, for goodness sake.

The nasty lyrics on the album-ending "Push Away" paints Baty as a nasal little brat. But by now, we’re all way past caring.

The reason why a band like Creed is so successful is because Scott Stapp has taken slightly used musical ideas (much like Craving Theo has done) and combined them with his own personal spirituality. Spirituality is a rare commodity, outside of oddballs like U2, in the contemporary rock world, which makes Stapp a completely compelling focal point.

When Alice In Chains and Soundgarden played these similar musical cards about a decade ago, it was done so with enthusiasm and originality. However, Craving Theo lacks a unique sound or perspective, leaving the listener with the feeling of having been there, done that, with no need or desire to return to it.

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