Picks and Pans Review: No Fun Aloud
It was no secret that when the Eagles went into the studio to make an album, feathers usually flew. In cutting their last album they fumed and fought and finally issued a collection aptly named The Long Run, which, as it turned out, was their last. The group that pioneered the country-rock sound of the '70s and turned the fast lane into a cultural metaphor has surrendered to the call of the wild. This album from Frey, one of the Eagles' two guitarists, is the first chirp since they disbanded, and the results are mixed. The collection is strong on punchy, memorable music and weak on lyrics. (With the Eagles, words were more the province of Don Henley, whose own solo LP has also just come out.) The 10 tunes show Frey's Detroit roots in Motownish rhythms, mixed up with a blue-collar style of rock singing that recalls Bob Seger (coauthor of That Girl, included here). Frey's remake of Huey "Piano" Smith's Sea Cruise (a 1959 hit for Frankie Ford) hardly bests the original, though he's much stronger with mainstream frat-party rockers such as Partytown, which has the same sudsy flavor as the Eagles' tune "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks". Overall, while "No Fun Aloud" shows that Frey can churn out decent music without his old band, it's hard to disguise the fact that some of their old spark is missing on this album.
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