Filter
The Sun Comes Out Tonight
Wind-Up Records

For a long-running band like Filter, the biggest challenge is usually avoiding a sound that grows formulaic or stale.  If you’re not careful, it can get to a point where every loud song sounds like “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” and every soft song sounds like “Take A Picture.” This leads to a sort of slow death, like a fire burning out; die-hard fans will continue to flock and purchase everything that comes out, while the rest of the world moves on.  Eventually, even the die-hard base isn’t enough to support the band, and the last gasp comes in a dark, cold, lonely place where almost no one else even notices.  Has it reached that point for Filter?  The best that can be said at this point is “not yet.”

The Sun Comes Out Tonight is a decent album.  The songs are pretty much what you’d expect, a sort of a “yep, that’s Filter” experience that isn’t off-putting, even if it isn’t altogether thrilling.  Fans of Filter’s harder material will enjoy several of the songs on the CD, though the listener should be warned that several of them are similar enough that they could almost be mistaken for one another.  Fans of Filter’s softer side will be similarly sated, though not likely blown away, by the majority of the lighter fare on The Sun Comes Out Tonight.  Taken all together, though, Sun just isn’t an impressive offering.

The surprising high point on the CD, even for a fan of Filter’s harder stuff, is the penultimate track, “It’s My Time.”  A slow, deep, piano-accompanied piece showcasing frontman Richard Patrick’s signature vocals, “It’s My Time” is shockingly moving and beautiful.  This track, even alone, is highly recommended; if you do nothing else concerning this album, give “It’s My Time” a listen.  You won’t be sorry.

All told, The Sun Comes Out Tonight is a good example of how the digital á la carte nature of the modern musical industry benefits the listener.  Fans of Filter’s harder side should consider picking up “We Hate It When You Get What You Want,” “Watch the Sun Come Out Tonight” or the album’s first single, “What Do You Say.”  Fans of Filter’s softer side should check out “Surprise” or “First You Break It.”  As previously noted, you should all go download “It’s My Time” right now.  Altogether, though, I wouldn’t bother with the full album unless you’re a real Filter fan or a compulsive completist- Dante Stone.

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