Bob Lind

Photographs of Feeling

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Bob Lind's managers protest too much in the liner notes, calling their act "unique" and proclaiming, "He didn't copy his style from anybody." That's like saying the Blushing Brides never attended a Rolling Stones concert. And despite the late Lillian Roxon crediting Lind for helping Tim Buckley and Tim Hardin reach a wider audience, there is no doubt that the music here follows in the footsteps of Paul Simon, Barry Maguire performing P.F. Sloan, and most especially the attitude and ideas of Bob Dylan. "I Just Let It Take Me" starts the album off with obscure lyrics that make little sense. A good A&R man could've given this title to Bill Minkin in his Senator Bobby guise to follow up the parody of "Wild Thing." Sad to say, "The World Is Just a 'B' Movie Meets Reno, Funtown, U.S.A." is just as ludicrous. But when you hear track five, "Eleanor" (not the Turtles hit of the same name), you hear the real Bob Lind, and it is probable people were telling him what to do and who to be, not allowing songs like this to permeate the listening experience. "We've Never Spoken" and "Remember the Rain" are legitimate sound-alike follow-ups to "Elusive Butterfly," his one hit record, and the production and arrangements by the late Jack Nitzsche are what truly stand out here. The engineer is none other than Dave Hassinger, the producer for the Electric Prunes, and the sounds the two studio veterans put behind the folksinger are delivered with crystal clarity. But the preachy, flowery essays and the delivery clearly typecast this singer as a clone of the real Bob, without the punch. Where Dylan's lyrics have sarcasm, wit, and bite, Lind spins endless fluff. The Poppy Family wisely covered "Remember the Rain" on their Poppy Seeds album in 1971 but, like the author, they also failed to hit it out of the park. A shame, for Lind has a pleasant, Ricky Nelson-type voice, and his guitar playing shows a sincerity that, if properly nurtured, would have carried that decent tune. Nitzsche should've let Phil Spector have a go at it, because songs like "San Francisco Woman" give clear evidence why Tom Rush is a legend and Bob Lind is a one-hit wonder. Play it next to Dusty Springfield's magnificent Where Am I Going album, and Photographs of Feeling becomes a photo that fades rather quickly.

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