After noted tenures in supergroup the Eagles and equally super (but not as supergroup-ish) Poco, Schmit took a cue from his former bandmantes Don Henley and Glenn Frey and took a stab at a solo career with Playin' It Cool. Not as gifted a songwriter as Henley or Frey, Schmit holds his own in the vocal department and the musicianship is on par with either of his colleauges. But what makes Playin' It Cool sound subpar is the erratic nature of the tracks. The production on several of these tunes sound antiquated in comparison to the super glossed production of the mid eighties; almost reminiscent of Schmit's tunes in the Eagles. It certainly doesn't help matters that many of his Southern California compadres (Henley, Carl Wilson, Joe Walsh and JD Souther) make guest appearances, leading to the notion that Playin' It Cool is an album that was several years in the making. It's not the worst of Eagles solo records, but it is certainly nowhere near the best either. Thankfully, Schmit would re-tool his sound and deliver more promising material with later records.
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AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston