Picks and Pans Review: Back of My Mind
Branded! That's not the way to die. Like Chuck Connors in the old TV series, Cross has been unfairly labeled. In Cross's case, it's as a simpering balladeer, thanks to his early hits like Sailing and Think of Laura. With this album, as on his last, Cross continues to work largely outside that genre. This time he does it convincingly. Judging by the tepid response to Every Turn of the World in 1986, the world has been content to wait for Sailing II, but that's a shame. Although Cross's voice can be thin and without depth (it does sound better on the simpering ballads on this album, such as Swept Away and Alibi), this LP shows that he is capable of writing and performing fine pop music. Someday, with Michael McDonald on backing vocals, and Just One Look would both fit snugly beside Bruce Hornsby's top-shelf material. (Actually, Hornsby is a lot like Cross, only without the supporting troops.) She Told Me So has just the sort of fresh, snappy melody and effervescent harmonies that would have put Brian Wilson's recent solo album over the top. Never Stop Believing, with Christine McVie providing harmonies, and Any Old Time are both spirited and satisfying pieces of pop craft. No question about it, Cross is operating near peak form. Whether the record-buying public can be made to care is another matter. (Reprise)
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