Picks and Pans Review: Come as You Are

updated 05/18/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/18/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Peter Wolf

Because his vocal range barely extends over more than five or six notes, Wolf must select his material carefully. Like a man with only two teeth, he doesn't want to bite off more than he can chew, and he has chosen wisely on Come As You Are. Other than the ballad Magic Moon, there are no treacherous passages to betray his mini-range. The style of the album falls between the brawny road-house blues of Wolf's former group, the J. Geils Band, and the crisp, hip-hop influence of his first solo LP, Lights Out. The straight-ahead rockers Can't Get Started and Love on Ice are noteworthy. But the choicest bit is the title track, based on the same thumping three-chord riff that has worked for multitudes of rock musicians since Eddie Cochran used it on Summertime Blues. Wolf recruited a sturdy little band, including guitarists Jeff Golub and Skip McDonald and bass players Jim Gregory and Doug Wimbish, to fire up his sound. And as usual, what Wolf lacks in versatility as a singer, he makes up for in energy and attitude. This is frat-party music, and Wolf performs it splendidly. (EMI America)

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