August 26, 2002 12:00 PM

Filter (Reprise)

Front man Richard Patrick composed most of Filter’s last album, 1999’s platinum Title of Record. For the Chicago band’s third disc, though, all four members shared creative input, and they seem to play harder as a result. Melding taut guitar lines with tenacious bass and percussion for seamless sonic blasts, the quartet prove their hard-rock mettle. But despite their crack musicianship, the CD suffers from a one-note quality, with similar-sounding industrial-rock numbers and angst-ridden lyrics lamenting a lost generation (“Last seat on the bus/ Who you gonna trust?/ Which one do you follow?” goes the aptly titled “American Cliché”).

Filter could benefit from a few more hushed moments like “The Only Way (Is the Wrong Way),” a poignant meditation on love-hate relationships. The lushly layered midtempo track, which harks back to Patrick’s early experimentation with electronic beats, evokes the group’s lucid, liquid 1999 hit “Take a Picture.”

Bottom Line: A mixed effort

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