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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Gin Blossoms’ Musical Sequel

It’s usually daring for a band to preview an unreleased album in concert, but the Gin Blossoms weren’t exactly going out on a limb Friday night at the Hollywood Palladium.

The capacity crowd may not have known the words to most of the Tempe, Ariz.-based quintet’s “new” numbers, but you can bet they still knew the songs.

After all, the new songs sounded just like the “old” songs.

The Gin Blossoms seemingly have faced the task of following up on the 2-million-plus sales success of its “New Miserable Experience” album by recording “New Miserable Experience, Part II.”

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Friday’s new songs were all four-minute, jangling, radio-friendly tunes, with the same tempo, the same structures and the same Byrds-inspired guitar chords that we associate with the group.

To the band’s credit as pop craftsmen, the new tunes all could easily be hits. Each of the numbers had the sweet melodies and sensitive-guy lyrics that made “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You” such major hits for the Blossoms--and the songs were all performed with plenty of spirit and gusto. Singer Robin Wilson, meanwhile, demonstrated his highly endearing pop-singer voice.

But what the Gin Blossoms don’t have is variety. It would have been nice for the Blossoms to throw in an acoustic ballad or a distortion-fed rocker or a bit of country twang or something different.

The danger for a young band that enjoys early success is that the group will stop challenging itself musically. The Blossoms appear to have enough talent to become a viable creative force in the ‘90s. The question is do they have the daring.

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