Jerry Garcia: Reflections

Let's put it this way. You'd have to be a real fan of, say, Ted Nugent to plunk down five bucks to hear him do an album of his favorite Joan Baez ballads. Similarly, you'd have to be a Jerry Garcia maniac to want to hear the one-time king of the cyberjam play an album full of plodders like Reflections. This is an odd album, occasionally approaching a country twinge (as on "Might as Well") or even coming dangerously close to toe-tapping boogie. Most of the music here is lethargic ballad material like "I'll Take a Melody" or "It Must Have Been the Roses," and it never shows enough energy to get you up and moving.

Garcia's guitar playing never produces the old fire, although it occasionally hints at the stylistic rolling gait of the Dead's golden years. Reflections features an all-star cast (Weir, Lesh, Hopkins, Hart, Kreutzmann), but all that proves is that big names don't necessarily make a big album.