Picks and Pans Review: Tao

UPDATED 05/20/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/20/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

Rick Springfield

Springfield's singing is a lot more lucid and musical than your average pop rocker. He writes intelligent songs that don't often resort to clichés to make their point. Written in Rock, for instance, is a heatedly sarcastic tune with a refrain that says, "Nothing's written in rock." What ruins this album are the overbearingly noisy backgrounds, full of synthesizer riffs, mechanical rhythms and background vocalists. It all inspires an urge to shout, "Could you all keep it down a little back there—and let the man sing?" When the brouhaha subsides, as happens on My Father's Chair, it's clear what an effective singer Springfield can be when he gives himself a chance (he co-produced this album with Bill Drescher). All we want to do is hear you a little better, Rick. (RCA)

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