Picks and Pans Review: Blondes

updated 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

John Stewart

Brunet Stewart has long been one of the handsome ushers of pop, but never the groom. He played with the Kingston Trio for five years during the early '60s before dropping out because, in his words, "I was bored." After that he penned Daydream Believer, recorded by the Monkees, Never Goin' Back, recorded by the Lovin' Spoonful in 1968, and July You're a Woman, which has become something of a standard, recorded by such diverse artists as Robert Goulet and Ed Bruce. This is Stewart's seventh solo album, and there's a sunny, Beach Boyish feeling to it. Most of the songs revolve thematically around California culture: Tall Blondes, Golden Gate, Angeles (The City of the Angels). Chiming in on this paean to the West Coast are such Malibu worshipers as Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham (who harmonizes on Jenny Was a Dream Girl and arranged two cuts) and Linda Ronstadt (who joins in with background vocals on The Queen of Hollywood High). This regional boosterism begins to wear a little thin, but Stewart rescues it with able musicianship and dashes of humor. Now 43, Stewart shows he can still tilt at pop windmills and find his lovely Dulcinea in places like Hollywood High.

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