When I Woke (Revisited)
When asked in an interview about the band's biggest hit 'Send Me On My Way', frontman and vocalist Michael Glabicki stated:
"I was in the process of coming up with lyrics, and it just sounded so good and felt so right that it had a meaning of its own that you couldn't make better by making it a word. So I left it."
These words speak volumes upon volumes about the way that the Pennsylvanian band conducts themselves, especially in their earliest incarnation. They have an unfettered countenance that many other bands struggle to have. But while these bands struggle under the weight of their own consciousness, Rusted Root hits another goldmine of creativity on their sophomoric release, the infamous When I Woke, released in 1994.
Unlike much of the traditional rock scene, which exudes a sort of staleness that comes when a genre has been exhausted of ideas, Rusted Root flourished with their unique blend of Latin and Tribal influences, all accompanied by one of the most thunderous and booming percussion sections I've ever heard. The band's combined vocals yield for some excellent climactic moments, such as on 'Cruel Sun' and 'Ecstasy'. You know how I was mentioning the freewheeling attitude that the band does so well before? Well that really comes strongly into play here. The more upbeat songs (e.g. 'Laugh As The Sun', 'Send Me On My Way', 'Food & Creative Love', etc.) have heart pounding moments where the entire band seems to work as a rhythmic machine, cranking out amazing, enveloping songs. Not to mention this is all helped by some of the most catchy hooks that have me constantly coming back to over and over again.
Some of the best pieces on the album are the reworked ones that come from the band's (fantastic) debut Cruel Sun in '92. These songs include 'Send Me On My Way', 'Cat Turned Blue' (which changed from a more typical Root song to a more RHCP-inspired version on When I Woke), 'Martyr', and 'Back To The Earth'. You can find the one other reworked track from Cruel Sun, 'Scattered', on the band's followup album Remember from 1996. I highly suggest that you also listen to the originals because while they may be the same songs they fairly different when their placed side-by-side.
When I Woke isn't as much of a musical landmark as it is simply a piece of wonderful music. I suggest that you go check it out- trust, me, it'll be worth your time.
2016 - The Frying Pan & Thatcher
Have a nice day!