Beginning with their third albumLet the Hard Times Roll, the Ohio country-rock band moved further into soft rock territory; by the time of Day by Day they may have been charting higher on the country charts than they ever have, but the music was pretty firmly melodic soft rock in the Southern Californian tradition, but tempered with an appealing dose of Midwestern modesty. Like its predecessor, Day by Day was produced by Marshall Morgan, who gives the group a clean, slick sound that still has warmth and soul. Things are smoother on Day by Day, but it's very close in feel to Let the Hard Times Roll -- and in quality too. Both of the records are solid through and through, from the working-man's anthem "Making a Living" to the sweet love song "Doing It Right" and the bright, jangly pop "If You Were Mine" on Let the Hard Times Roll, from the lazy, rolling "Day by Day" that kicks off Day by Day to the rock & roll tribute "The Legend" that closes it -- not to mention the light, limber love song "Lorianne" that arrives in the middle -- there's not a bad song on either of these records. It may not be the kind of thing that transcends its genre, but as far as country-tinged soft rock -- or soft rock country-pop -- from the early '80s, this is a strong album within their genre, and fans of either style will find this easy to enjoy.
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