Picks and Pans Review: Love Bomb

updated 04/08/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/08/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Tubes

With the exception of some wickedly whimsical interludes, Love Bomb is not really recognizable as the work of the Tubes, even if the LP is arresting. The San Francisco septet invited Todd Rundgren to produce this venture, and he ended up dominating the party. Rundgren is more subtle than David Foster, the Canadian-born producer who brought the Tubes into the promised land of the Top 20 with their 1983 LP, Outside Inside. Rundgren's melodic and harmonic sensibilities reverberate through the five songs he co-wrote for this album. Come As You Are and For a Song both contain Rundgren-style pop harmonies and a fragile sweetness unlike the pile-driving sound Foster gave the Tubes. The songs arranged or written by the Tubes can be primitively intriguing, as in Theme From a Woolly Place, or just feeble, as in the pointless title track. Singer Fee Waybill shows an endless fascination 'or Marlon Brando's films. His recent solo album, the fine Read My Lips, contained a song inspired by On the Waterfront; on this record Stella is right out of A Streetcar Named Desire. The album ends up a jumble. If the Tubes ask Rundgren back again, their pride should demand that he curb his ego at the studio door. (Capitol)

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