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    Tue, 22 Mar 2005 11:43:20

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    Album Reviews: Lifehouse by Lifehouse

    Three albums in and Lifehouse sounds comfortable -- comfortable in their skin, comfortable working within the constraints of adult alternative radio, comfortable enough to deaden any possible lingering Creed or Stone Temple Pilots comparisons that might have plagued them after their first two records. Here, on their eponymous third album, Lifehouse is a rock band that doesn't rock. They strum acoustic guitars and sing earnest midtempo anthems and ballads, all given a slick shine by producer John Alagia, who has previously worked on records by Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and Jason Mraz -- a collaborator whose very presence indicates how far the group has shifted from their early Brendan O'Brien productions.

    While some longtime fans will miss the band's harder side, Lifehouse sounds, well, more comfortable in this setting, and they've made an album that's smooth, mellow, reasonably tuneful, inoffensive and thoroughly unmemorable. It's not an album that makes waves, it's a record that's designed to ease onto the AAA radiowaves, where it will politely sit next to songs by Matthews, Mayer and Mraz. And on that level, Lifehouse is indeed a success, since it's pleasant enough as it's playing, but the drawback is that it could too easily be mistaken as the work of many other bands who mine the same territory. - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

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