Following a ridiculously catchy cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" would be tricky for any act.

Following a ridiculously catchy cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" would be tricky for any act. But Alien Ant Farm's decision to throw in everything but the kitchen sink on its follow-up studio album is confusing. "truANT" spotlights the powerful, driving rock that perfectly souped up the band's Jackson cover. But reggae-flavored "Never Meant" and Spanish-influenced "Tia Lupe" seem to trip up the album's flow. This effort to shed its nü-metal label is understandable for Alien Ant Farm: It is no longer the genre du jour. Yet the missteps taint what could have been a hands-down success. "Quiet" pulsates with an invigorating mix of guitar hooks, and "S.S. Recognize" is as melodically angry as any good Metallica track. Smartly adding variety to the album's predominantly angst-ridden themes is "Glow," a bright, bouncy song about a physical attraction.—SA