The Candlebox of 2016 isn't the Candlebox of 1996, lacking many of its members – only mainstay lead vocalist Kevin Martin and drummer Dave Krusen remain – and also most of the grunge signifiers that turned the band into a chart-topper in the glory days of '90s alt-rock. Two decades on, Pearl Jam isn't a touchstone: Matchbox Twenty is, as is Third Eye Blind, two titans of the smoother post-grunge movement that ushered bands like Candlebox out of the charts. Perhaps the Seattle-based quintet, which is now essentially a vehicle for Martin's music, is slightly behind the curve by concentrating on this sound, yet the broader lines, slower tempos, and emphatic pleading suit a band now in middle age: it's adult alternative rock the way they used to do it back in the day.
Berlin, 1974. Grischa and Heinrich are actors, accidentally locked in the rehearsal hall one night. He tries to seduce her; she's puts him off. Later she dumps her husband and sleeps with Heinrich, who ups the ante by suggesting they have a child. She takes him seriously by initiating a journalistic project interviewing working mothers, asking how they balance work and family, delving into their sexual histories. Heinrich sulks when she spends evenings on the project, he's childish. Should she leave him? The story plays out against the backdrop of left-wing political agitation.