May 15, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Candy From a Stranger

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
We gave it a B-

Acoustic guitars, heart-on-sleeve lyrics, world-weary singing — six years after their big commercial breakthrough, these mellowed-out ex-punks could give James Taylor lessons in crafting inoffensively earnest pop-rock. While chief songwriter Dave Pirner’s po-faced ruminations on insecurity are intermittently affecting (”See You Later”), Candy From a Stranger‘s bittersweet ditties should be ingested sparingly. B-

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