Wonder What's Next

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Wonder What's Next
Studio album by Chevelle
Released October 8, 2002
March 4, 2003 (deluxe edition)
Recorded September 12–November 2001
Genre Alternative metal
Length 46:10
Label Epic
Producer Garth Richardson
Chevelle chronology
Point #1
(1999)
Wonder What's Next
(2002)
This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)
(2004)
Singles from Wonder What's Next
  1. "The Red"
    Released: July 22, 2002
  2. "Send the Pain Below"
    Released: February 11, 2003
  3. "Closure"
    Released: December 9, 2003

Wonder What's Next is the second album and major label debut of American alternative metal band Chevelle, released in 2002 by Epic Records. With hit singles "The Red" and "Send the Pain Below," it proved to be Chevelle's breakthrough album, landing them high profile tour slots including the Main Stage of Ozzfest 2003. Having sold over 1 million copies, Wonder What's Next remains the band's most successful album.

Background and recording[edit]

After experiencing label troubles, Chevelle's management set up a showcase in New York. The group received three offers and ultimately chose Epic. After debating between GGGarth and Ben Gross, they enlisted Garth to produce their sophomore album. Recording was scheduled at The Wherehouse Studio in Vancouver to begin the day following the September 11 attacks. With a tragic event having just taken place in the band's home country, they were met with an unsettling start to the recording process. The band spent nine weeks at the spacious studio.

Wonder What's Next would feature a heavier, more textured sound than its predecessor, which, according to frontman Pete Loeffler, was "more indie" and didn't effectively capture the band's intensity. While Chevelle's debut album was recorded in standard D tuning, the band switched to Dropped B, with some songs written in standard D♭ tuning. The band also spent much more time adjusting tones and preparing before recording, as opposed to the less refined studio process of working with Steve Albini. Ben Kapplin, the Pro Tools editor, also took a liberal approach to adding textures underneath much of the music. The band was at first uneasy with this approach but came to appreciate the influence it had on the overall sound. However, the track "One Lonely Visitor" breaks from this with its bare-bones approach; a demo was recorded in a home studio, but after rerecording it with Garth in Vancouver, Loeffler still favored the original, less-produced version for its more natural feel and convinced the label to use it.[1] The same method would be used on the final track of their follow-up album in 2004.

Touring and promotion[edit]

"The Red" served as the album's lead single. It had an accompanying music video depicting an anger management seminar and gained heavy rotation on MTV2. "Send the Pain Below" provided an even more successful follow-up single by reaching #1 on two charts. It, too, had an accompanying video revolving around a snowboarder. A final single was released in December 2003 with "Closure." The moody track landed spots in the top 20 of both aforementioned charts and had a video featuring concert footage from Music as a Weapon II.

Leading up to the album's release, Chevelle toured the United States with Local H and Burning Brides from March through May 2002. They then joined Ozzfest from July through September. For the remainder of the year, Chevelle continued touring the US with Stone Sour and Sinch. Chevelle also performed "The Red" on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn on November 8.

The band toured Europe with Audioslave in early 2003 before returning to the US. In the spring, they played on Music as a Weapon II with fellow Chicago-based headliners Disturbed.[2] Chevelle later appeared on the tour compilation album Music as a Weapon II, featuring the songs "The Red" and "Forfeit."[3] The band appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to perform a lead single from the album, "The Red," on May 20.

From June through August, Chevelle performed on the main stage of Ozzfest, where they recorded and later released their first live album, Live from the Road, and a live DVD, Live from the Norva.[4] Starting in November, the band performing radio gigs until the end of the year when they took a several-month break from touring to begin writing their next album.

Release[edit]

Commercial success[edit]

The album's first single, "The Red," was released far in advance in July 2002. It met with significant radio airplay and charted highly on both Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks. Its music video also gained significant TV rotation. In October, the album debuted at #14 on the Billboard 200. A follow-up single, "Send the Pain Below" attained even greater success than its predecessor in February 2003 by reaching #1 on both Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks. Both "The Red" and "Send the Pain Below" have since become concert staples. To round off promotion of Wonder What's Next, "Closure" was released as the third and final single far later in December to substantial success.

By summer 2003, Wonder What's Next sold over 1 million copies in the US alone. The following year, it had reached 1.3 million.[5] A Deluxe Edition was released March 4, 2003, which features three cover songs as well as a song previously exclusive to the Daredevil soundtrack. This was Chevelle's first biggest selling album.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[6]
Blender 2/5 stars[7]
Cross Rhythms 9/10 stars[8]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[9]
Melodic 3.5/5 stars[10]
musicOMH Favorable[11]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[12]

Reviewers for Wonder What's Next were mixed but largely positive. Brian O'Neill of Allmusic noted how the band demonstrates an "indie rock mindset" in spite of the album's slick production. He added "Chevelle managed to retain its credibility yet still put out 11 tracks that, while still catchy, offer uniqueness not often heard in more commercial fare, no mean feat." MusicOMH's Tom Day described the band's sound as comparable to the likes of Helmet, Tool, and Deftones and summed up by stating, "there are no qualms with the high calibre, heavy rock that Chevelle have served up here."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Pete Loeffler, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Family System"   4:17
2. "Comfortable Liar"   3:43
3. "Send the Pain Below"   4:12
4. "Closure"   4:11
5. "The Red"   3:58
6. "Wonder What's Next"   4:10
7. "Don't Fake This"   3:39
8. "Forfeit"   3:59
9. "Grab Thy Hand"   4:13
10. "An Evening with el Diablo"   5:43
11. "One Lonely Visitor"   4:06
Total length:
46:11
  • "Until You're Reformed" was featured on Daredevil: The Album.
  • "An Evening with el Diablo" is 5:43, but ripping the song produces a length of 5:58 (although the final 15 seconds are silent).

Personnel[edit]

Chevelle
Technical personnel

Chart positions[edit]

Album
Chart (2002) Peak
position
The Billboard 200 14
Top Internet Albums 14
Singles
Year Song Chart Peak
position
2002 "The Red" The Billboard Hot 100 56
Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
Alternative Songs 4
2003 "Send the Pain Below" The Billboard Hot 100 65
Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Alternative Songs 1
2004 "Closure" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 17
Alternative Songs 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Pelt, Doug Chevelle - Interview w/Pete 7/03 HM (July 2003). Retrieved on 11-11-2012.
  2. ^ "Tour Archive". Chevelleinc. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  3. ^ "Music as a Weapon II". Disturbed1. Archived from the original on 2007-12-22. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  4. ^ Chevelle Tour Archive ChevelleInc.com. Retrieved on 11-11-2012.
  5. ^ Klodz, Randy J. Chevelle: Helping Bring Hard-Rock to Chicago, A Million Units at a Time SOAK Magazine (2004). Retrieved on 11-17-2012.
  6. ^ "Wonder What's Next - Chevelle". Allmusic. 
  7. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  8. ^ Cummings, Tony (November 2003). "Chevelle - Wonder What's Next". Cross Rhythms (77). 
  9. ^ Jesus Freak Hideout review at the Wayback Machine (archived March 1, 2003)
  10. ^ Wippsson, Johan. "Wonder What's Next". Melodic. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  11. ^ musicOMH review
  12. ^ Cherry, Robert (2002-11-05). "Wonder What's Next : Chevelle : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2012-04-23.