Picks and Pans Review: Agent Provocateur
Foreigner has always been one of the more eccentric pop rock groups. This time the Anglo-American quartet has gone from the generally under-control, melodically cohesive 4 to a hard-edged, hyperaggressive bit of medium heavy metal. In the process the vocal abilities of lead singer Lou Gramm, which have shown to great effect on such hits as 1981's Waiting for a Girl Like You, get overwhelmed by decibels. It's probably coincidence, but there's even a track on this LP called Tooth and Nail, title of the wildly heavy group Dokken's current album. There are a couple of more relaxed tunes, too: Gramm's own Two Different Worlds, for example, has involving, reflective moments. The group's producers, Alex Sadkin and lead guitarist Mick Jones, have an ear for the penetrating sound. Too often, though, the penetrating sounds are coarse. And the lyrics are meaningless. Witness these lines from the Jones-Gramm song Growing Up the Hard Way: "Like a dog on the loose in a firework display in a world of his own/No, no, no, he won't back down or go running back home." (Atlantic)
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