With a genuine hit to his credit, Kenny Loggins decided to stretch himself a bit on Keep the Fire, hiring Tom Dowd and toughening his sound slightly, adding a more flamboyant production in the process. He also decided to look like Doug Henning on the cover, which may be a surer sign that success had started to go to his head. All this resulted in a self-consciously tougher record than either of its predecessors, with a punchy sound, detailed production, and shades of boogie. Relying more on original material, this winds up being more uneven than Nightwatch, but it boasts more character, even if that means something as silly as "Mr. Night." Also, the record, though clearly presented as a relative band effort, complete with a photo of the supporting band on the back cover, winds up not being as unified as its two predecessors, even if it's more "band-like." Still, any complaints are erased by "This Is It," one of two pop classics Loggins recorded. Yes, the title track also became a hit, but the heart of this album is "This Is It," a mid-tempo charmer with lush, seductive verses, emphatic choruses, and great supporting vocals by Michael McDonald. This summarizes everything that's right about soft rock, and is enough of a masterwork to make the flaws and filler forgivable, since it lends this pleasant soft rock affair a real spine.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine