Picks and Pans Review: John Eddie

updated 08/11/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/11/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

John Eddie

Put John Eddie in a hot-and-raucous Jersey Shore bar, the kind from which Bruce Springsteen sprang, and he delivers like a real house rocker. Eddie's got all the right macho moves, a strikingly timbral voice that knows how to roll with a big beat and a lyric obsession with the requisite teenage passions. But it's another story when he's taken out of the bars and provided with a new backup group (including Max Weinberg, Ian MacLagen, David Lindley) and a production team that removes all the sweat and anarchy of his live show. The result is this debut album, which spins too perfect and feels too pat. The drum-and guitar-based Shore sound is here, delivered with thundering punch by the Boss's own big timekeeper, Weinberg. But the record sounds bloodless. Lyrics and hooks alike seem facile ("See we made a lot of plans/I was gonna be her man"). The rocking cuts—Jungle Boy, Pretty Little Rebel, Cool Walk and Dream House—do cook, but haven't we heard these tunes somewhere before? The ballads—Buster, Living Doll and especially Stranded—are obvious Boss knockoffs, from the thumping bass lines and surging keyboards to plaintive themes of love. Columbia Records would be only too glad to have Eddie designated heir apparent to Springsteen. However, he has created a record that's more like the appealing but hardly startling products turned out by pretenders like Bryan Adams and the old John Cougar. (Columbia)

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