Picks and Pans Review: Brother Where You Bound
Since Roger Hodgson left to pursue a solo recording career, keyboardist Richard Davies has assumed the helm of this British group. As a songwriter, Davies, who is also the lead vocalist, seems to be operating on the premise that if you cannot capture an audience with hummable hooks, then baffle them with bombast. Take the title track. At 16½ minutes, it isn't going to get played too often on the radio. Is the inordinate length of this and other tracks a blatant defiance of commercial acceptance? Or is it merely a callow attempt to fill up half an album side? True, if you throw together extraneous recordings of newscasts and other spoken voices with snippets of disjointed melodic themes and stretch until thin, you've got what could pass for the overture to a rock opera, but that's a concept whose time has come and gone. Davies hasn't helped matters with his labored vocal style and the simplistic rhyme scheme of his lyrics: "Yeah I got used/ Messed up and abused/ You let me down/ With all your runnin' 'round." Brother Where You Bound is at least a reminder of what a smooth sax player John Helliwell can be. But if you've a hankering for quality Supertramp, stick with 1979's Breakfast in America. (A&M)
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