Asleep at Heaven’s Gate
The first time I went fishing, I spent the bulk of the experience untangling line, unhooking snags and catching nothing. A day I’d welcomed with so much anticipation left me disappointed and unfulfilled. Rogue Wave’s third effort, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, produces a similar feeling. The album isn’t without bright spots like “Fantasies,” “Cheaper Than Therapy” and “Like I Needed,” reminding us that Zach Rogue is still Zach Rogue, whose voice balances between effectively indecipherable and beautifully haunting. Yet the album feels underwhelming, lacking a sense of accomplishment present on its predecessor, Descended Like Vultures. Inevitably, Asleep is less compelling than one would expect from the band, lacking the elegance, charm and depth present on its first two albums. At times it appears the group is content hoping for spots on network teenage drama soundtracks rather than continuing the musical exploration fans have come to expect, which results in not so much a coherent piece of art as a collection of singles. Like a day on the water, the album is enjoyable. It’s just not the big fish you hope to catch.