Armed with a new, much better producer, yet another different guitarist, and some great songs, Stuck is by far the best of Adelitas Way’s four studio albums. Gone are the regrettable cliche-riddled songs that plagued Home School Valedictorian (or at least there’s less of them) and they’re replaced by some of the most sonically satisfying New School Rock music on the market, thanks mostly to Slashesque guitarist Robert Zakaryan and the excellent production acumen of Nick Raskulinecz.
As is usually the case with Adelitas Way albums, most of the best songs are packed toward the beginning of the album. The first four tracks from “Dog on a Leash” through the excellent title track (featuring a slow-burning, brooding mood that stands out as one of Adelitas Way’s greatest songs) are great, filled with killer riffs, catchy hooks, and lyricism that doesn’t make you want to completely ignore Rick DeJesus’ words. Unfortunately, the next three songs from “Keep Me Waiting” to “Drive” don’t bring anything new to the table (aside from the regrettably Pop oriented “Undivided”), thus resulting in the typical downward curve of quality to which most Adelitas Way albums are subject. However, the Grungy “Not Thinking About Me” and the excellent “Blur” bring listeners back to New Rock nirvana. “Blur” in particular is probably Adelitas Way’s greatest song other than “Brother” from their first album, and there’s an argument to be made that it’s their absolute peak. Even the synth string-laden “Something More,” which offers up a snapshot of mid-’10s Top 40 Pop springiness, provides a nice change of pace for the album without suffering in quality like “Undivided” does. It suggests that Adelitas Way can develop a bit of a range as performers, even if it is a slight one. It’s a shame they couldn’t continue the upward momentum with 2016’s Getaway, but Stuck makes me feel less guilty about my favorite guilty pleasure band and produces a ray of hope that 2017’s Notorious could be a satisfying endeavor.