October 25, 2020

1981-04-11 – The Baltimore Sun

1981 04 11 The_Baltimore_Sun_Sat__Apr_11__1981_

Barely good Who, fine urban blues

B! Rafael Alvarez

TheWhoisheldhighasagreatr-ock
and roll hand, but they haven’t released a
great album since 1973’s “Quadrophenia.”
The 16-year-old group claimed its reputa-
tion because almost everything it record-
ed up to and including “Quadrophenia”
was great and exciting.

The latest from my rock favorites,
"Face Dances." is barely good and far
from exciting. I! not for two aggressive
songs written and banged out by bassist
John Entwistle. the music wouldn’t even

quiityurochnndroil.
ItistheworstWhoalbumotalltime.

Pete'l'ewnshendisgoodatshootinghis
mouthoitnhoutwhatrockandrollisand
Midhe.bottoday.whenitcomestoexe~
enthgthueeloqoentideahhetalisflet

onhisnoee.
On‘Tece Dances” theianheers'l'owno

Someuwthbehnngeeomingwiththe
dilution of Keith Moon’s influence on

"Who Are You." released in 1978. This
new direction gnined weight with Town-
shend’l solo pop album “Empty Glass"
last summer, and now the unfortunate

knownutheWho.Notenymore
TheWhoneedabioodielseoup with
mmmmmmmm-
“totwoeonpaneibuminsteadot
mmKenneyJones’sdi-nmmingon

“Face Dances” even becomes more potent
on the pair oi rockers authored by the 0:.

If you like good poetry in front of mu-
sic with the intoxicating power of a milk-
shake, buy “Face Dances." If you want to
rock and roll yourself to death, submit to
AC/DC.

It’s no longer a case of who are you. but
who were you.

-0-

John and Sylvia Embry's album “After
Work” is the best urban blues album re-
leased in a long time. Marked by Wilson
Pickett’s “Mustang Sally." “After Work”
ripples with the seductive magic of urban
blue: from start to tinish-a real find.

Bassist and vocalist Sylvia (a mother
oisixandatull-timesupervisorwiththe
Chicago Housing Authority) governs a

New sounds

moothmmienicanvaswhiiehergnitarist
hmhnnd John thiscoolsur.
iaoewithoneotthemoeteflectivegniten
ChicagohuheardsinceJ.B.Hotto.
ExohimmytriendmrhSmyhorJn
engineerwith WF'BR.“Whenyouiistento
treat blues you forget about the charts.

John and SyIViI Emily’s “After Work"

is available from the t label,

tndependen
Razor Recent. 2648 Magnolia, Chi ,
mm". "3°

0—

“Contents Under Pressure.” Roy
and the Phantom Moven’ new discfm

third eoioeibum by Laney. the founder
and former lead vocalist for San Francis-

co‘s flamin’ Grooviee. “Contents Under

Pressure” follows its two predecessors’ hit
and miss approach.

Loney has a keen intuition about where
the boundaries of rock and roll lie, but the
bombs he drops on that turf don’t always
explode. All three Laney albums (War
Bride Records, P.O. Box 22872, San Fran-
cisco, Calif. 94122) are worth buying. how-
ever. because when Loney is on, he is on.

“Contents Under Pressure” is spurred
by a chunky dance number, Loney’s own
“Too Funky to Live,” and a hot cover of
the Yardbirds classic, “Heart Full Of
Soul." His ballads aren’t so good.

Roy Loney’s one drawback is his come
puision for campy vocals that instead of
creating tun. make fun of the very com-
positions he’s authored. Regardless, Loney
constantly thirst: for the intangible item
knownuhevingeball.

I’dgiveeeriomiistentoanythinghere-
leases.

_.°—

The comeback Robin Trower began
withhstyear'sWietimsoftheFm'y'W
complete with “3.1.3.," an excellent
album featuring the creamy vocals and
bass playing of rock Hall of Famer Jack
Bruce. even if some of Bruce’s vocals
sonndlikeaparodyofhisbeydey.

“BLT.” shows Trower at his textured
heat; the hemmed brutality of a talent
that can scare otf wild dogs when on-
leaded Few guitnrisu can peint with the
range of colors on We palette, and
“BLT." is an unblemished musical por-
trait

'l‘heheetthingicanuyisthetitohin

Trowerhureienedenaibumthatcan
hoiditsownwiththemnterieithetmede

meeiutIenothisintheenrlySeventies.
Trowe’scurrentFMairpleynpportsi-his
andit’sgreettohavehimheck.