Picks and Pans Review: Eye of the Zombie

updated 10/27/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/27/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

John Fogerty

Discussing this record, Fogerty has said, "I live in a real world. There's more to life than superficial love." So the album includes such lyrics as: "The moment of truth/The terror is at hand/And there's nothing you can do;" "He's gonna drop the Big One/And there's nothin' I can do;" "Ain't no survivin'/And there ain't no escape;" "Pass another plate of shrapnel/Sprinkle it with TNT/Gotta have another grenade salad/Split it with your enemy." Those four passages are from four different songs. Of the other four on the album that have lyrics, one is about death, another is a bitter-edged satire on commercial success, Soda Pop. Ain't no Suzie Q here, folks. As he proved long ago with Creedence Clearwater Revival and again in his 1984 comeback album, Centerfield, Fogerty is a deft writer and a loose-jointed, compelling blues rock singer, so he can get away with some of this propheteering. On Change in the Weather, for instance, he sets up a spiritual tone that's enhanced by vocal bass harmonies; you could sing it in church, especially if you happen to be a member of the First Church of Paranoia ("Down on your knees/Go ahead and pray/But every demon/Has to have his day"). Too much of the album though is intellectually pedantic and musically grim. The chorus to Violence Is Golden even seems designed to be an noying. Nobody would want to listen to the track more than once. Fogerty, a one-man band on Centerfield, used a drummer, a bass player and three backup singers for this LP yet still ended up with a more constricted sound. The whole project seems tense and heavy, in fact. While it's obvious that not all pop music has to be frivolous and mindless, it certainly shouldn't seem like an end-of-the-world lecture with chords either. (Warner Bros.)

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