Whistles + bells = a bit more than last time
Soft and sunny, bright and buzzy,
Rogue Wave stitches together plenty crowd-pleasing ingredients, from hairpin turns reminiscent of The Shins to vocal harmonies worthy of CSN&Y. A trickier feat—never quite accomplished on 2004’s Out Of The Shadow
—entails making those parts function as a warmly inviting whole. For all its efforts to dazzle, Rogue Wave’s music rarely engages the emotions the way it ought to.
On Descended Like Vultures, the outlook improves, particularly early on. “Catform” and “Publish My Love” positively sparkle, while the oddly jaunty “Bird On A Wire” opens the disc on a disarming note. The album peters out in its second half, and frontman Zach Rogue
still has a way of writing music that sounds great without meaning a whole lot. But Descended Like Vultures does, in fact, sound great, and that’s no small accomplishment.