The Gregg Allman Band / Gregg Allman

I'm No Angel

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Nearly ten years separate Gregg Allman's third and fourth solo albums (not counting Allman & Woman), which is quite a long stretch by anyone's standards. Of course, there were a number of reasons why Allman didn't release an album between 1977's Playin' Up a Storm and 1986's I'm No Angel -- various substance addictions, bad marriage, disappearing bands. By 1986, he had pulled it all together and crafted I'm No Angel, an album designed to be a comeback. After all, the title track alone was a statement of purpose, a declaration of his bad-boy ways. Since this album was released in the midst of the Reagan era, it's not only a little musically tame -- slick surfaces and keyboards dominate -- but the attitude is a little lax, too. On the title track, a song that justifiably became one of his signature tunes, the lyrics say "darn" instead of "damn," which is a little tame for someone like Allman. Still, what matters is the tune, and it's a corker -- so much so that it overshadows many of the other cuts on the record. However, I'm No Angel is, by and large, a solid and thoroughly enjoyable set of songs. The main problem is the production, which is a bit too much of its time. However, that's an easy flaw to overlook, especially for hardcore fans, because Allman rarely delivered a solo album as solid as this.

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