Picks and Pans Review: Joey Travolta
The tones and dynamics of the material on these albums are of the paint-by-numbers school of recording. There are no subtle brush strokes of genius in this sort of calculation. The artless disco-pop and mushy ballads are splashed together with bucketsful of strings and horn echoes—anything to hide the watery vocals.
John's older brother Joey, 28, aims for true confessions-earnestness on his ballads and comes out morose; even on three nice Carol Bayer Sager tunes he sings with leaden flatness. John, 24, can at least tap Vinnie Barbarino's punk mischievousness. He is also more energetically mannered. Neither of the boys sings with much precision or believability, though. They just go through the motions.
One further caveat emptor: The zeal to cash in on the genuine following John has created with his dancing and his inarticulate coquette-macho is probably understandable. But the Fever on his double LP (the "previously released" indication on the jacket is almost invisible) is merely a relapse —all but one of these 21 tunes were on his first two solo LPs. They've sold modestly—650,000 albums—and are now available in some discount bins. As a Midsong International Records executive explained, however, the poster inside and cute cover "will sell it" at higher first-run LP prices. "It's a totally merchandised package," he added —unnecessarily.