Suzie Cracks The Whip is the 10th studio album released by Blues Traveler and coincides pleasingly with their 25th anniversary as a group. It finds them all in an upbeat mood, delivering a collection of songs that seem custom made for the summer.
It possesses a mainstream and pop sensibility when compared to the sprawling jams found in their earlier recordings, most markedly in the track “I Don’t Wanna Go” which features American Idol graduate Crystal Bowersox on backing vocals.
And while the do do do do’s of “You Don’t Have To Love Me” and gentle reggae of “All Things Are Possible” get the feet tapping, you can’t but help feel they’re somewhat lightweight and lacking in substance given the depth of musicianship within the band.
But if the album disappoints in places, it more than compensates elsewhere. “Recognize My Friend” reflects endearingly on life and death, whilst “Nobody Fall In Love With Me” and “Big City Girls” have a looseness and wit reminiscent of their nineties hey-day.
[3 out of 5 stars]