By Melissa Maerz
Updated February 10, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

Why so serious, Isaac Slade? His soft-rock hitmakers’ third album contains warbling references to the Berlin Wall (”1961”) and Rwanda (”Heartbeat”). Though with lyrics about love and rain and things never being the same, he could’ve just written another love song. Even producer Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young) can’t save Scars & Stories from generic TV-soundtrack mediocrity. Expect to hear the pretty but forgettable ”Be Still” on an episode of Desperate Grey’s Wife Drama soon. C+

Best Tracks:
Slow-burner Be Still
Soaring Heartbeat