It would be nice to think that "All Shook Down," the newest album from The Replacements, was a sort of intermezzo, a short creative furlough from a career of outstanding releases spanning nearly a decade.
Alas, "All Shook Down" is not only not a great album, it could also be the band's swan song as members struggle to resolve ego clashes that threaten to send them their separate ways.But it's not a bad album. In fact, parts are quite good. "Torture," "Attitude" and "My Little Problem" show the 'Mats in top form, and even less satisfying tunes like "All Shook Down" and "One Wink at a Time" are interesting for their slower rhythms and largely acoustic arrangements.
What's missing is the trademark Replacement spark - the sort of straightforward, gritty and yet melodic compositions found on the albums "Let It Be," "Pleased To Meet Me" and "Don't Tell A Soul," the latter featuring the charming single, "I'll Be You."
Nonetheless, it may be that the time has come for The Replacements to hit it big. "All Shook Down" is hovering in Rolling Stone magazine's top 20 albums and could be the band's first gold record.