England Dan & John Ford Coley

Some Things Don't Come Easy

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If Dowdy Ferry Road was their bleak moment in song, Some Things Don't Come Easy is the calm before the storm, a port prior to the schizophrenia that was Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive. Wandering songs like "Who's Lonely Now" are indicative of this album, and it is only one of two titles the singers pen together. They look alike on the smiling, happy airbrushed front cover, but you can almost see sadness in their eyes on the photos on the back. It must have been an intense period as they came up with yet another Top Ten hit, their fifth of six. "We'll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again" was written by Jeffrie Comanor and is far and away the best song on the album. This duo knew how to interpret; they were fantastic at it. The hit single is defined, the production is compact, and the loose ends that make up all the other songs on Some Things Don't Come Easy pale in comparison. The song's hook and instrumentation are so radio-friendly that the 45 could be put on repeat and after the 30th spin not bore like many of the tracks here. Sure, there is more outside material. Dave Loggins' "Lovin' Somebody on a Rainy Night," as well as Bob Gundry and Jeff Comanor's "Beyond the Tears," are adequate, but they really needed material beyond their genre, and needed it desperately at this point in time. Adequate just doesn't cut it when you are in the middle of a string of hit singles. Gundry co-wrote "Hold Me" and "Calling for You Again" with John Ford Coley, but they are songs in a rut. A Beatles tune or "She's a Rainbow" by the Rolling Stones would have been left of center enough to work without disrupting the flow. The problem here is, there's too much flow, but England Dan and John Ford Coley seem to be treading water as everything rushes by them. "If the World Ran Out of Love Tonight," written by four songwriters other than the singers, is passable, and Dan Seals' title track is second to the hit as an album highlight, but "You Can't Dance" goes nowhere and sounds labored. Perhaps it was time to have some additional producers augment Kyle Lehning's fine work on the hits, or maybe, as stated in another review on this group, it was time to team up with Seals & Crofts to go after Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Some things don't come easy, this album is proof of that.

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