The inevitable Creed reunion has begat the inevitable Creed reunion album, and here comes the inevitable review: Full Circle, the band’s first album in eight years and fourth overall, is exactly the same kind of overblown, self-important, tedious hard rock that has been garnering disdain ever since the quartet emerged out of Florida in 1997. It should come as no surprise that, upon their return, the guys in Creed have decided to stick rigidly to the formula that brought them massive radio airplay and sold millions of records during their heyday.
But is what Creed does really all that bad? Full Circle isn’t painful to listen to, merely dull and repetitive, and guitarist Mark Tremonti admittedly has some decent chops (the heavy riff from “Fear” would be killer in the hands of a band with a little more nuance). The attention is all on singer Scott Stapp, though, whose drug- and alcohol-fueled meltdowns led to the band’s initial dissolution. Stapp’s repentance is all over this album, ranging from petulant (“I’m entitled to overcome”) to pleading (“I’m not the man I used to be/I’ve changed”) to hopeful (“Does the song you sing have enough meaning?”).
It’s a little tiring, and it doesn’t help that every line is subject to the same grandiose delivery. Creed’s bombast is undiminished, and, if anything, has become even more calcified during the years away. Inevitably, nothing has changed.