Living Colour, "The Chair in the Doorway"

57 Billboard Rating

Of all the bands pursuing comebacks this summer, Living Colour is certainly among the most welcome. But the band's first release since 2003, "The Chair in the Doorway," is too scattered -- and occasionally silly -- to make a serious re-impression. The parts are all here: guitarist Vernon Reid is a monster (behold him on "Bless Those," the album's funkiest moment) and singer Corey Glover retains a solid volume of howl. But the group is stuck deploying its skills in pursuit of quite a few rock-funk clunkers with lyrics from the blank-alienation handbook -- stuff like, "I thought I had control/I felt I lost my soul/I can't get outta this hole" (from "Out of Mind"), and so on. Happily, "The Chair in the Doorway" is back-loaded and hits a stride in its more measured second half, including the snaky first single "Behind the Sun," the stomping "Hard Times" and the melodic "Taught Me." Unfortunately, a good bit of it comes off as colorless. -Jeff Vrabel