Miller Anderson

Bright City

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Miller Anderson is most known for his stints in several blues-rock-oriented groups, especially the Keef Hartley Band, with whom he made several albums in the late '60s and early '70s. Shortly after leaving the Keef Hartley Band, he made a brief bid for a solo career, though only one album resulted (1971's Bright City) before he went back to his usual role as bandmember. On Bright City, it seemed evident he was taking the opportunity to present material that wouldn't have fit as easily or at all in the Keef Hartley Band, much of it folk-rock and singer/songwriter-oriented. Still, it suffers from problems afflicting many solo efforts by musicians who are solid contributors to groups: a lack of consistent direction, and a sense that there's not enough material or vision to carry a full-length record of their own. Sometimes he tries out a modified hard rock approach, bringing to mind the most aggressive early Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cuts, yet the title song is orchestrated, delicately folky singer/songwriter fare. "Grey Broken Morning" seems like an obvious attempt at a commercial hit single, with its almost middle-of-the-road lush orchestration and female backup vocals, like a cross between the Carpenters and early Bee Gees (though without the type of hit-ready tune that either of those groups cranked out as second nature). On "Shadows 'Cross My Wall," it's on to drifting introspective folk-rock with flute (by Soft Machine's Lyn Dobson), acoustic guitar, and what sounds like conga, à la some of Tim Buckley's more extended ruminations. None of the songs are striking, however, resulting in a diverse but rather forgettable record.

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