Picks and Pans Review: Modern Times

updated 06/01/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/01/1981 01:00AM

Jefferson Starship

The frictions of middle age aren't dragging on the Starship—this LP rocks as hard as Freedom at Point Zero of 1979. Grace Slick has returned—if only as a backup to Mickey Thomas, her prodigiously piped male replacement. The band's classic touches are all here, too: Paul Kantner's subtly mixed acoustic and 12-string guitars, Craig Chaquico's stinging electric guitar solos and Pete Sears' dense synthesizers. Newcomer Aynsley Dunbar (previously with Journey and Frank Zappa) drums aggressively. Sears and his wife, Jeannette, co-wrote a few songs, and Kantner adds topflight Starship material—Wild Eyes, the title track (with Thomas), and Stairway to Cleveland (We Do What We Want), a delightful retort to a media-addicted public. Writes Kantner (with Paul Warren): "Said we can't sing can't play/Can't write anyway/New name old name/Carry on with such silly people everywhere/Whatcha gonna do about it?" With this superior album, the Starship crew provide their own best answer,

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