Although the last Puddle of Mudd album came out in 2004, a lot has changed in music that affects how successful this band can be. Maroon 5 took a similar break between their two albums and the response has been amazing. Matchbox Twenty has had similar success, it would have been even better if they just released a new album and not a best of with six new songs. Puddle of Mudd attempt a similar trick with their new record “Famous.” But there are a ton of things working against Puddle of Mudd. “Life on Display” was the band’s last album before this and it was terrible. There wasn’t a good song on that disc and there wasn’t any single success from it either. So when you’ve been all but out of your audiences’ minds since 2001 and you have to gain another audience with a new generation of kids… you’re screwed in a lot of ways. I do think that the band, the label, and Scantlin knew that the songs that the band had done in the past weren’t going to cut it at this point in time. So they went out and got some help, A LOT OF HELP. Some of the names attached to this disc; Howard Benson produced the latest single “Psycho.” Brian Howes co-wrote and produced “Famous” and “It Was Faith.” And Max Collins and Tony Fagenson of Eve 6 wrote and produced “We Don’t Have to Look Back Now.” That’s just naming a few of the contributions with songwriting on this album. In terms of songs all of the songwriting helped out this effort a ton, but it’s still not on par with “Come Clean.” It is better than “Life on Display” though, and that’s the best news any Puddle of Mudd fan can get. With the music… it’s really hard to judge because there’s so much help here. With all of the different co-writers and just plain song writers it makes this a little sporadic and less fluent than it should be. I can say this; where there’s just a single songwriting credit from Scantlin the music is just as good as everything else; it’s not that he lost his touch, he probably just needed some help. The other complement that I can give Puddle of Mudd with this record is Scantlin’s vocals are better than they’ve ever been and this is the best produced Puddle of Mudd album, it sounds great. While it’s hard not to criticize this album because the band had a lot of help, it has to be done. Judging the music alone: this passes, in that sense this is a good listen. But you can’t help but wonder what kind of album this would have been if it were just a Puddle of Mudd record. Worth checking out, how serious you take it is completely up to you.