This POCO album is one that just cannot be overlooked- despite its low sales. This is the best album of theirs, Furay-era or Post-Furay-era. I don't know where to begin with it (though I guess the first track would be a logical start)!
1.)Rose of Cimarron- Rusty Young shines. Period. The song is so well-written. It is amazing to see Rusty's evolution as a writer. Don't forget, Rusty wrote Grand Junction- the instrumental piece in the medley in DeLIVErin'. That was good- and this is a thousand times better. He not only shines as a writer- but also as a performer. He plays a countless number of instruments on this song- from his classic pedal steel to dobro! Furthermore, he doesn't just play these instruments; he is wildly talented on each and every one of them. The song also has a a spectacular ending, consisting of a piano, strings, and a harmonica backing up a furious solo on the electic guitar played by Rusty. As I said- Rusty shines.
2.)Stealaway- fine song, also written by Rusty. Again, he also plays a variety of instruments. The song is clearly not as good the title track (not to take away from this song- one must remember that the title track is flawless and nearly unbeatable), but still solid. Well-written.
3.)Just Like Me- I have read so many reviews on Timmy's songs- and it seems that whichever song the review is critiquing, it is always "the best song Timothy Schmit's ever written." There is only one best song by Timmy, and it's this one. There is not much more I can say. Personally, I love the track.
4.)Company's Comin'- Again, a great song by Rusty. On this song the entire quartet sings, even Rusty himself. Much energy. This song may be the closest on the album to pure country and less rock inspiration.
5.)Slow Poke- This is the instrumental ending to Company's Comin' but is a separate track that is nearly as long. Also written by Rusty. This is the most lively of all of the songs. There is so much energy, and all of the musicians are in sinc with one another. The musicianship by everbody is just awesome. It is so entertaining to listen to. It must be stunning to watch live- and I can see POCO having so much fun playing it live. This song shows that POCO really is not in it just for the money. They have lots of fun doing what they do, regardless of the pay. Music today should be more like that- I think.
6.)Too Many Nights Too Long- This is the beginning of Cotton's half. Rusty wrote all of the songs on the first half (except for Timmy's one song), and Paul does the same on this half (except for one that Timmy wrote for this half). This song is really good. Paul now takes Rusty's place and plays multiple instruments- a variety of different guitars, including a Spanish guitar. Any POCO fan can tell that this is a POCO song without knowing so to begin with, but it still ventures into new territory (Spanish-like sound) all the same. I can't explain with words how this works- you have to hear the song to understand.
7.)P.N.S. (When you Come Around)- I personally don't know what "P.N.S." stands for- but that's okay. Another great song. Al Garth, the fiddle/sax player that played with Loggins and Messina that joined POCO for a very short time when this album was being made, shines on this one as a fiddle player.
8.)Starin' at the Sky- Timmy Schmit wrote it with another guy. Garth, mentioned in the last song, is featured as a sax player. Saxophone? POCO? I know they don't sound good together- but it works like a charm. The song itself is fabulous, except I can't listen to it too much. I can listen to the rest of the album over and over again, but this song gets tiring. The song is good when played in moderation.
9.)All Alone Together- Another great Cotton song. This one may have the best lyrics of all of the songs. They really work with the music they are played to. Great job.
10.)Tulsa Turnaround- Why, Paul, why? The album was going extremely well until this one. I'm gonna be honest- this song is bad. I don't get the meaning of the song, I don't get the point of adding this song, and frankly it's just a bad ending to a fine album. The words make no sense, and the music is decent- even mediocre compared to the rest of the album. It's very heavy on the bass. I was thinking that a great ending to the album would be a reprise to Slow Poke. The energy from that song would close the album so well. Anyway- don't let this track turn you off. The quality of the album is barely effected by this song- take my word.
This album is POCO's absolute best, end of story. If you are a POCO fan- or even if you're alright with POCO's music- and do not have this album, you must get it. There is no reason not to.