Picks and Pans Review: Blue October

updated 05/29/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/29/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Foiled

POP-ROCK

Despite its mantra, Blue October's single "Hate Me" has won the Texas band nothing but love from radio. The song, about a man who is tormented by all the mistakes he made in a relationship, succeeds by marrying pop-rock hooks to goth-style slit-your-wrists lyrics: "I have to block out thoughts of you/So I don't lose my head/They crawl in like a cockroach/Leaving babies in my bed." Blue October's third studio album is unlikely to inspire such extreme passion, but it is fairly enjoyable if somewhat uneven. There is a little bit of everything here, from harder rock ("What If We Could") to folky pop ("Overweight") and light electronica ("X Amount of Words"). While a bit scattershot, all these shades of Blue October at least manage to keep things interesting.
[stars 2.5]

DOWNLOAD THIS: "Hate Me"

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