Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Their second-best album, honest!
on 25 May 2008
I'm sorry to go 'against the flow' here, but I honestly believe this to be the best Bad Co album after Straight Shooter. It's very different from that Hard Rock classic, mind you - probably the mellowest album of the lot. So why the 5 stars? Firstly, the songs are all memorable and full of character. Secondly, there's the further progress of Boz Burrell as a writer. His two compositions here are fabulous. And thirdly, hear Ralphs' guitar-playing. Although Mr Rodgers played lead guitar on 3 tracks, the other 7 feature Ralphs at his melodic best. And Rodgers' vocals are top class. Then there's Simon Kirke, who always had a great feel for funk, and shines on every track. Electricland opens the record in atmospheric style, with a brooding verse and heavy chorus. This is almost an updated form of Bad Company (the song). Untie the Knot is funky and fresh-sounding, with a great solo from Ralphs, fading in haunting fashion. Boz' Nuthin' on the TV is humorous and lazy, but with a lovely blues feel. Painted Face follows, the first piece with Rodgers on lead guitar. It's a pleasing, energetic workout, with great lyrics (Rodgers is unusually adventurous on this record), and his guitar solos are pretty good; not up to Mick's standard, though! And Ralphs' first composition is Kickdown, a soft/heavy tale of surviving on the wits. Ballad of the Band - this is Boz' humour in place again. Two minutes of brisk, hard rock'n'roll, with clever commentary on the early 1980s music scene, and an authentic Ralphs solo. Cross-Country Boy again features Paul on geetar, and he also plays good piano here (as he does throughout the album). This is a carefree song, something the band apparently wasn't at the time. You'd never know it! Ralphs' Old Mexico continues the almost Wild West theme that was a hallmark of this band; here's the story of a brush with the law and a dangerous senorita. The last two compositions are both Rodgers'. Downhill Ryder has more of that jazz-lite piano, and another solo from Paul. Once again, this is a jaunty ditty. Heavier is the last track, Racetrack, with Ralphs re-installed on guitar (sliiiiide). Although there are elements of bands such as The Eagles and The Allmans on this record, the essential Bad Co style and sound are in place. The band had progressed, rather as Zeppelin had with In Through the Out Door, and a few fans were disappointed. What is baffling, though, is the level of angst shown by the press at the time. This is a darn good album!