Fuel’s third album ‘Natural Selection’ was the biggest surprise for me in 2003, mainly because the more I listened, the more I loved it. I had always been able to appreciate Fuel’s music on a superficial level, but now I think I’m becoming a fan with this release. Fuel abandon the more straight-forward post-grunge/hard-rock formula present on their first two albums for a more experimental sound on this album. It doesn’t mean the songs suffer, in fact the whole album sounds better than anything they have done before. With expert production by Michael Beinhorn (best known for Soundgarden’s ‘Superunknown’) and strong lyrics by band guitarist Carl Bell, Fuel have reached a whole new level. Songs like “Getting Thru” and “Falls On Me” may feel more at home with their previous work, but the layered “These Things” and the bitter “Quarter” help elevate the band above a wasteland of other grunge-cloned bands. Far too bold and mature for the Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd crowd anymore, it’s easy to see why this release isn’t selling as well as the others: it’s unique! Highlight tracks include: “Quarter,” “Running Away,” “Days With You,” “These Things,” and “Million Miles.” The only thing that drags this album down is the inclusion of the “Bring You Hell” remix of “Won’t Back Down” (originally from the ‘Daredevil’ soundtrack), which is hardly a remix at all, and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the material. Still though, it’s a solid album, the best work Fuel has accomplished to date. If you weren’t a fan of the band before and are a little skeptical, it’s worth a shot. There is something for everyone who likes any form of rock music on here. And if you were a fan of the band before, just enjoy watching them grow and expand their sound.