From the Vault...


Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
"It's A Mystery"

© Capitol Records

Year of Release: 1995

track listing
  • Rite Of Passage
  • Lock And Load
  • By The River
  • Manhattan
  • I Wonder
  • It's A Mystery
  • Revisionism Street
  • Golden Boy
  • I Can't Save You Angeline
  • 16 Shells From A 30-6
  • West Of The Moon
  • Hands In The Air

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    Soundtrack--That Thing You Do!
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    Joss Stone--Introducing Joss Stone
    Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
    "It's A Mystery"

    By 1995, Bob Seger's peak of "superior" albums had passed. He had been a common staple on FM radio since his Night Moves album emerged. (And some of his earlier work, like with The Bob Seger System ("Ramblin' Gamblin' Man") was reborn. His peak years were from 1976 to 1986, with albums such as Night Moves, Live Bullet, Stranger In Town, Against The Wind, The Distance, Like A Rock. The next 5 years were silent, as he would reappear with The Fire Inside in 1991, which did receive fair airplay with the title track. This album didn't get as much rave as his peak year albums, and the same would be said for his 1995 release, It's A Mystery. the comparison.

    I found this CD at a used CD store, for $5.99. Being a Bob Seger fan, I couldn't resiste not to pass up on any of his studio releases, whether his later releases were ranked by the critics as superior or not. It's A Mystery didn't get any recognizable hit songs, but there are some good tracks here to mention. By 1995, other genres of music had surfaced, such as Punk and Grunge. Yet for the typical Seger fan, his voice has always stood out as a rock and roll legend. Of course, by 1995, he was older now, as his lyrics were tending on a more serious side. Whether or not this would become a deciding factor in this album standing out as popular as his previous ones probably would be the case to some. Yet, he's Bob Seger, and his Silver Bullet Band will always be popular, especially for those who grew up with him, and to truly enjoy his music, in Rock & Roll fashion.

    The album kicks off with the "unrecognizable" Rite Of Passage. By unrecognizable, I mean this song does not sound like your typical Bob Seger song. The voice, the style, it throws you off. (I Had to look at the CD, being that I bought it at a used CD store, I was thinking maybe they put the wrong CD in its case.) But by the second track, "Lock And Load" (my favorite from this album), his voice is beginning to look and sound like that of the one and only, Bob Seger. (Although in the beginning, his voice I was comparing to that of Warren Zevon, and I knew that would be an unlikely comparison, as I had to look at the lyrics contained in the booklet with the CD; again, thinking it was a different CD altogether.)

    The lyrics of "Lock And Load" is more personal to Seger now, as he his music was becoming themes to television commercials (Chevy). As this may have rubbed off on him, but he "complains" of how "users and fakers" who've caught him in the "schemes," and how he "spent years losin' touch of what's right and what's real." He wants it back, as it's now time to "take a different road and start again." Like his fellow "opinionated" rockers (Bono of U2, and Bruce Springsteen), they've written lyrics in how personal life has become, as we get older, and seeing how the world is being looked upon, especially of the rise and now fall of our economy, and even political events. Seger tries to join in the fold. Where many critics say he "failed" upon this, fans of his music shouldn't really rely on how "bad" our world is; just pretty much focus on how music is, and to develop an album for the "typical Bob Seger" fans: Rock & Roll.

    As the rest of the album emerges, it is definitely sounding more and more (and getting better and better) as a "Bob Seger album." The medium tempo/almost ballad is defintely defined with Seger's recognizable voice. "Manhattan" (another fan favorite from this album) has a John Hiatt feel, as this song has Seger "talking" more than singing. As his "talking" to critics was compared to that of Shawn Mullins' style in "Rockabye".

    "I Wonder" is a nice, quiet, easy going tune, as the title track is a rocking track, yet a bit different that the standard Seger tunes of the past. The same is said for the next track, "Revisionism Street." Another "different sounding" track is the Springsteen-ish "Golden Boy."

    Yet the Seger we know and love comes back with the bluesy "I Can't Save You Angeline," Springsteen comes to mind again on "16 Shells From A 30-6," another good rocker. Things slow down a bit (and in a good way), with "West Of The Moon." The album closes out on a good note, with "Hands In The Air."

    Any Seger fan will enjoy It's A Mystery. Sure, the "mystery" is here, as some of the songs are NOT your typical styled Bob Seger tracks. Yet all the songs are good in their own rights, as Seger puts his own personal touches to each song, whether they be in well-known style or not. (For example, check out the jazzy "New Coat Of Paint" from The Fire Inside; very jazzy, very impressive.)

    Sure, it may not be as high standing as say Night Moves and the likes, but, hey, this is BOB SEGER. This album is now out-of-print, and sells at for over $30.00. If you happen to see this album at your local used CD store, you will not be disappointed.

    Seger is still rocking these days, as he is now 69 years old. He recently rocked with the likes of John Fogerty and Bruce Springsteen. He is currently touring, planning on releasing a new album of new material within the year 2014 or 2015. He has stated that the new album will be his "swan song" album, as he is preparing to step down from touring and recording soon.

    I say, "You're never to old, to Rock & Roll." If Seger still has the "fire inside," I'm sure he can still pound out that "old time rock & roll" as long as he can still do it, and perform well. He has always proved the "rock and roll never forgets." Bob Seger is a legend, he is classic rock, he is a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer. HE IS BOB SEGER.

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    Previous Review: #1391
    Soundtrack--That Thing You Do!
    Next Review: #1393
    Joss Stone--Introducing Joss Stone