Since their last outing, 1994's self-produced Strategem, the Colorado roots-rock trio has enlisted the aid of a keyboardist and brought in producer Jerry Harrison (the former Talking Head). Both changes add bulk to the arrangements, and songs like "Caroline" and "Crazy Mary," for instance, sparkle with textured atmospherics.
Big Head Todd & the Monsters stumble when they try their hand at funk on the tepid title track, and Beautiful World occasionally succumbs to mid-tempo blahs. But Todd Park Mohr has a wonderfully limber, expressive voice, and he's a fine, nuanced writer with a knack for memorable melodies and guitar hooks. When the band hits its country-sparked stride on "True Lady" or allows a bit of sensual sway into the music, as on the grooving "These Days Without You" and "If You Can't Slow Down," their world is a beautiful one indeed. (Revolution)