73: Bringing Down the Horse (The Wallflowers)

Album: Bringing Down the Horse
Artist: The Wallflowers
Year: 1996

1. One Headlight
2. 6th Avenue Heartache
3. Bleeders
4. Three Marlenas
5. The Difference
6. Invisible City
7. Laughing Out Loud
8. Josephine
9. God Don’t Make Lonely Girls
10. Angel on My Bike
11. I Wish I Felt Nothing

I originally had Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi in this spot, but then I listened to it a couple of days ago and was bored out of my mind. For an album that is very polished and has no really bad songs, it does surprisingly little for me these days. So I looked at the albums that just missed the cut and decided that Bringing Down the Horse, while flawed, doesn’t bore me and still enjoys an occasional playthrough.

The album is quite top-heavy, starting with its best song, One Headlight and continuing with probably its second best song, 6th Avenue Heartache. The passion in Jake Dylan’s voice really comes through in these two songs. Though, while he’s got a better voice than his father, he does very little with it for the rest of the album. The melodies are generally catchy, but the songs don’t really distinguish themselves from each other with Jake sounding the same on every one. Their second biggest hit, The Difference, has good verses but an awful chorus where Jake holds down the notes way longer than he’s capable of. The slowly worsening album is saved just a bit right at the end with I Wish I Felt Nothing, an understated angsty ballad.

I don’t think I’ve listened to one second of anything else by this band, and from looking at the charts, it doesn’t look like anyone else has either. If you have, please throw down your critique in the comments.




9 thoughts on “73: Bringing Down the Horse (The Wallflowers)”

  1. I have their second album Breach and it’s pretty average. “Letters from the Wasteland” is probably the best song, but it doesn’t touch “One Headlight” or “6th Avenue Heartache”. Never picked up any of their other stuff. (there are 6 Wallflowers albums? huh.)

    I also used to have a couple of songs from Jakob Dylan’s solo album. “Valley of the Low Sun” is a pretty good song.

    1. Okay, got a chance to listen to that. I dig it, though I think I would like it better if it weren’t an acoustic solo; don’t much care for the guitar here. He actually kind of sounds like his pappy here

  2. I’m a fan of this album as well, even bought it for my mother, though I agree that the only really impressive song is One Headlight. However, I actually like the song God Don’t Make Lonely Girls, but then, I’m a sucker for “rescuing” women.

  3. I too am stunned to learn that The Wallflowers have six albums. I spun this one quite a bit in high school, and came here to use the term “top-heavy” only to find that you’d already done so.

    I kept waiting for a big follow-up that never came…I figured they took time off and then disappeared; I honestly don’t know if I could have told you that they’d had even one more album. I don’t remember noticing it whatsoever.

    1. Four years betwixt Bringing Down the Horse (1996) and Breach (2000). Just enough time to forget about them, I guess.

      1. yeah, that seems like a dangerously long time to wait for a follow-up unless you got something truly amazing in the works.

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