Picks and Pans Review: Tour De Force
Beneath the driving Southern rock exterior of this Florida sextet beats a heart of...well, it's a heart, anyway. Even without the composing contributions of former collaborator Jim Peterik, who is now spending his time as a Survivor, the group has maintained much more emotional content than is standard for the genre, especially in its lyrics. Six of the nine tunes on this LP, in fact, have to do with unrequited love of one kind or another. If the language is basic "empty space in my heart" and "I've got love on the line" kind of stuff, it's consistent with the raw feeling of the group's sound. The boys can get clever, too. once in a while. Twentieth Century Fox by bandsmen Don Barnes, Jeff Carlisi and Donnie Van Zant and stage manager Larry Steele, is a paean to a woman (not a movie studio) that includes the lines, "She's got Vanderbilt jeans/So tight and blue/Break out in a sweat/When she looks at you." Drummer Jack Grondin still lays down one of the most infectious beats around, so this album is too vigorous to use as background music for mourning a lost love. It would, however, make wonderful music to write bitter letters by. (A&M)
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