My spooked donkey lumbers to the Bo Deans’ Still. I scolded HST’s translucent image for leading me to a band that most of us with a radio heard too much from in 1996. “Closer to Free” pounded the airwaves nonstop after Party of Five became a cult hit. Worse yet, they are from the Milwaukee area and local waves would not let up. At work, it replayed more often than those damned looped Blockbuster in-store ads. Prognosis is negative on the potential enjoyment if Still remotely recalls 1996.
[After this fruitless rant, I encountered a discarded bumper sticker…
SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT
SHARE A TOOTHPICK
… this image shifted my rotten negativity to giddiness and allowed me to approach the new CD with deserved responsiveness.]
The BoDeans have been around forever – nearly three decades, Kurt Neumann and Sammy Llanas have contributed eight albums and thousands of gigs. With the band’s sonic wheelhouse and audience are uber-defined, Still’s formula plays up reputation and their roots-pop signature.
Non-offensive in every way, tracks spill with consistent quality and expected musical trademark. Publicity and awareness are urgent. Trolling their forums, you can sense the need for an aggressive marketing campaign – their audience has aged with them; the boost from “Closer to Free” slowly thinned and are left with a core of aged fans that are getting increasingly less likely to buy new music.
The jamboree treatments and Midwestern vibe that defined their early days are lost. Those experiments only rewarded when they worked and sometimes killed the ebb and flow of your appreciation. Neumann and Llanas realize their charge – it is to create a consistently enjoyable CD.
Still claims the tightness and likeability honed with past commercial success. You can hear similarities to a lot of neo- (albeit less plastic) Bon Jovi. 12 tracks boast tight mid-tempo roots-pop jangles – the best example is “Round Here Somewhere”. T-Bone Burnett’s production is darn near immaculate; outside of the laughable pseudo blues cut “Lucille”, the release is a consistent pleaser that deserves to reclaim its past audience and maybe even some Bon Jovi fans. 
Years have been kind to the BoDeans’ legend. Instead of crafting an embarrassing fusion of their sound and modern pop, the attribute combination of adroitness and obsessiveness reap a master class earworm gem.
 Hunter chided me for my glibness and exposing the dangerous side of my freak. “You pig-faced rat bastard. Stop babbling and get to the point – Bon Jovi’s fans would never steer clear of candy lane. Tell them that anyone that gives this record a chance is helpless to resist another listen.”