Rebel, Sweetheart isn't a lousy endeavor or an unlistenable one: Steady playing, reliable production, and pleasant melodies prevail. Trouble is, tracks such as "Days of Wonder" and "Here He Comes (Confessions of a Drunken Marionette)" dig too deeply into heartland-rock styles that have been strip-mined for decades, and there just aren't that many rich veins left. An infusion of personality might have helped, but after 13 years as a recording artist, no-longer-so-young Jakob remains an imitator, not an innovator. His voice suggests his pop's, albeit with every rough edge removed, and the lyrics of ditties such as "God Says Nothing Back" hint at a profundity they never quite achieve.
Rebellious this material ain't. Thank goodness J.D. has daddy's catalog to fall back on.