After knocking out an impressive debut with their self-titled 1975 release, The Tubes fell prey to the dreaded sophomore slump on their second album, Young and Rich. Although this album contains a fistful of inspired and witty tracks, it simply lacks the coherence and consistent material that made The Tubes such a cheeky delight. Young and Rich finds the group trying to expand their satirical/theatrical rock style into new subgenres like disco and pre-Beatles pop, and this material forms the best moments on this disc: "Slipped My Disco" effectively sends up the social rituals of the disco scene over a backing track that fuses the Tubes' pomp-rock excesses to a mocking dance beat, while "Don't Touch Me There" is a hilarious, over the top sendup of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound style built on a lascivious duet between Fee Waybill and Re Styles. However, the effect of these tracks is diluted by some less inspired moments where the Tubes hedge their bets by trying to recycle some of the finer moments of their previous album. For instance, "Proud to Be American" tries to skewer the American Dream like "What Do You Want from Life" did, but comes off as both toothless and overtly obvious while "Poland Whole/Madam I'm Adam" tries to recapture the orchestral sturm und drang of "Up from the Deep" but doesn't have enough riffs and hooks to fill its overtly busy arrangement. Despite these problems, some other tracks manage to shine through the dull moments: "Tubes World Tour" and the title track, an effective sendup of children of privilege that plays out over a surprisingly elegant ballad-style arrangement. In the end, Young and Rich offers enough impressive tracks to satisfy the Tubes connoisseur, but the casual listener would be better off sampling its highlights via a greatest-hits compilation.
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AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco