Picks and Pans Review: Night Owl

updated 07/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Gerry Rafferty

Rafferty's follow-up to City to City (with its Baker Street single) is another superior fusion of folk-rock and pop. Rafferty's strength is weaving intelligent lyrics into a hymnal lushness on both ballads and uptempo numbers. Each verse maintains an almost mantra-like importance. He and co-producer Hugh Murphy, meanwhile, achieve liquid-smooth harmonies and a solid rhythm foundation supporting tasteful licks on electric guitar, keyboards and sax. There are, in addition, sprinklings of pipe organ, penny whistle, recorder, mandolin and fiddle. Yet Rafferty, a reclusive Scot, never clutters. Even on a breezy pop ballad like Already Gone, Rafferty combines invention (the chord sequences) and restraint (the understated backing) for a clean, ingratiating creation.

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