ALBUM REVIEW: Bob Mould Inspires Hope on ‘Sunshine Rock’

The album lives up to its name

One of the signature talents of indie rock legend Bob Mould is his ability to write lyrics that capture despair, hopelessness and pain over incredibly catchy music. On his latest album Sunshine Rock, however, the Hüsker Dü co-founder sings about empowerment and turning the pain into something worth living for. In other words, the album lives up to its name.⠀

On “I Fought,” Mould sings about someone he fought for, someone who’s “in my everything, oh yeah.” Yet rather than sounding full of despair, Mould sounds full of pride, as if this time impacted his life for the better. “Lost Faith” features Mould counting off the ways he’s let everyone around him down. Yet on the chorus he turns introspective, telling himself how everyone loses faith, but it’s still possible to “find your way back home.”⠀

Even where the album isn’t so optimistic, the songs work because they deliver so much positive energy. The one-two punch of the title track and “What Do You Want Me To Do” are future crowd pleasers. Closer “Western Sunset” sounds just as perfect here as it would on a Sugar album.⠀

It’s important to understand the arrival of Sunshine Rock within Mould’s timeline. The album’s impact likely wouldn’t have felt so strong had it come out a couple albums earlier. In other words, creating truly empowering music requires time to work through and channel the emotions driving them. Pain can be a major source for art, but onSunshine Rock Mould shows that healing can be just as powerful.⠀

Score: ☀️☀️☀️☀️/5

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