Bright Side Of The Moon

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viernes, marzo 07, 2008

Loggins & Messina - Full Sail (MFSL ULTRADISC II)

Loggins & Messina - Full Sail (MFSL ULTRADISC II) (UDCP 733)
EAC - CUE - WV - Covers

It has taken Jim Messina three albums to slip out of his sideman sweatshirt and don the trappings of a star, but in Full Sail, Loggins and Messina's third release, he does just that. With his confidence bolstered by gold albums, undisputed box-office success and numerous cover versions of his music by C&W, pop and soul artists, he has turned the focus of the band's attention from Kenny Loggins to himself.

The LP is subtle and heavily influenced by the liquid sensuality of reggae, which has seeped into Messina's music just as in the early Poco days he let Latin rhythms roll through his country riffs. Although short on the snap and crackle that made the first two albums exciting, Full Sail is nevertheless their equal. On it, the band does a balancing act between AM rock and jazzier, more personal excursions.

Messina's production painstakingly creates special environments around each tune as he mixes the disparate elements of the band into a whole. He assumes that the audience will allow the music a chance to express its own identity without preconceived notions. The eclecticism is thus obviously deliberate.

"Lahaina" and "Coming To You" are both reggaes, one tropically light-hearted, the other a sexy seance that conjures the spirit of Buddy Holly. "Didn't I Know You When" and "My Music," a couple of solid rockers, serve as a link to the Loggins and Messina of old as do Kenny's mellifluous ballads, "A Love Song" and "Watching the River Run." The extended production numbers, "Pathway To Glory" and "Sailin' The Wind," allow the band, particularly Al Garth and Jon Clarke, the chance to stretch out.

Messina pulls out all the stops for "Pathway," the album's showpiece. With a wan vocal, the best he's recorded (he gave up cigarettes for these sessions), he warns himself to beware of worldly ways. But the ghostly strains of Jon Clarke's oboe solo suck him into the mesmerizing waterfall of sound until his instrument dovetails into the pained walls of Loggins' harmonica, and then the laughing, sardonic scratchings of Al Garth's fiddle. In a revealing burst of bravado, Messina's guitar assumes command. Lacking the savagery necessary for a killing blow, the guitar plays with its quarry until, after a lovely fiddle/guitar dialogue, the band restates its initial warning and departs.

Jack Breschard, Rolling Stone, 12-20-73.

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