Picks and Pans Review: Cycles

updated 07/17/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/17/1989 01:00AM

The Doobie Brothers

Let's see the hands of those who were threatening to hold their breath until the Doobies revived their act. Okay, both of you, you are hereby sentenced to listen to this album 50 times in succession.

The first record by the "original" band since 1972, it is full of catchy vamps that dwindle into wimpy tunes and of intriguing rhythmic lead-ins that lead to dead ends. The hit single "The Doctor" is typical, with drummer Michael Hossack setting up an alluring beat that entraps a listener into Tom Johnston's inane song. The record includes Pat Simmons, John Hartman, Tiran Porter and Bobby LaKind, as well as Hossack and Johnston, but not Michael McDonald, the only real solo star to come out of the band since it was formed in the San Francisco area in 1970. They sound as close to middle-of-the-road rock as ever, slick and slickly produced. It's hard, though, not to recall what McDonald said when the group broke up in 1982: "We were living on past laurels. The magic was gone." (Capitol)

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