Picks and Pans Review: Signs of Life

updated 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Billy Squier

Rock 'n' roll journeymen take heart: Squier, 34, from Needham, Mass., toiled for years in groups with improbable monikers, like the Tom Swift Electric Band. But his last two albums have sold more than five million copies and Signs of Life proves he hasn't forgotten what got him here—crisp arrangements fueled by a ramrod electric guitar. The polished Signs of Life was co-produced by Squier and Jim Steinman, who has worked with such pop luminaries as Air Supply and Barry Manilow. The record was superbly mixed by engineer Tony Piatt. That's the positive side; the bad news is that Signs of Life is inconsistent. It's front-loaded, with the best songs, All Night Long, Rock Me Tonite and Eye on You, coming as soon as the needle hits the platter. The LP goes South in a hurry after that. Squier still has his guitar chops down, but his voice, a poor man's Robert Plant, can get monotonous. This is the type of album your mother would abjure on the grounds that the songs sound the same, and as the Beatles said, your mother should know. (Capitol-EMI)

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