Picks and Pans Review: Riff Raff
As both performer and producer, Edmunds has a sense of pace and tone matched by few modern pop musicians. The rock is hard but never coarse, the ballads moody but never melodramatic. Like Edmunds' 1983 solo LP, Information, this one is co-produced by Electric Light Orchestra alum Jeff Lynne. Riff Raff, too, is a satisfying blend of energy and subtlety that incorporates modern approaches with the raw energy and hell-bent-for-the-dance-floor élan of early rock. The material ranges from the graceful, down-tempo How Could I Be So Wrong, by Edmunds' longtime bassist, John David, to the old Four Tops hit Something About You. Dire Straits (and former Edmunds) drummer Terry Williams, keyboardist Richard Tandy, Lynne (also on keyboards), David and former Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones (on harmonica) sit in. For Edmunds, 40, this is a terrific follow-up to EB 84, the Everly Brothers' comeback he produced. Edmunds isn't the greatest singer around, his guitar playing won't stop traffic and as a composer he won't make anyone forget Stevie Wonder or Cole Porter. He just makes terrific music. (Columbia)
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