Chris Willman
July 25, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Special One

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a C

Over three decades, the Tricksters have never recorded a lamer song than this album’s opening, ”Scent of a Woman,” in which Robin Zander stoops to a scary imitation of Roger Daltrey at his most blustery, bellowing feeble platitudes about the superiority of the titular gender. And that’s the single. With nowhere to go but up, Special does get there, though not without leaving the impression that one of America’s great national treasures is seriously coasting on the tune-writing front. After the near-metallic bombast of their last two efforts, most everything here is on medium boil; even the Budokan kids would probably be sitting on their hands.

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