Picks and Pans Review: The Highway Is for Heroes

updated 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jesse Colin Young

For those who haven't been with us long, Young was the '70s analogue of Kenny Loggins. With the Youngbloods, and later on his own, Young was a singer nonpareil and troubadour to the peace-and-love generation. He was (and is) blessed with a voice as lovely, elegant and tightly controlled as a falcon in flight. After five years away from the studio, Young returns with this sometimes handsome, uneven album. To his own detriment he mounts a high horse on the title cut and The Master. Passages intended to be august and epical instead sound pretentious and preachy. The record is overextended too by the inclusion of Do It Slow and T-Bone Shuffle. Young has recorded both songs before, and these casual jam-session versions add nothing to the originals. Of course there is that tenor voice, an instrument of pure romance and poetry. It is exercised most effectively on the ballad Young Girls and Erica, a jaunty love song. Young doesn't embarrass himself by any means. The Highway Is for Heroes is distinguished, however, by the singer, not the songs. (Cypress)

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