The tenth album from Nils Lofgren and his first for Columbia is a very polished affair with excellent production from Lofgren and Lance Quinn. The material is written by Lofgren, and it is all strong to very strong, with lyrics bordering on lecturing the listener. "Flip Ya Flip," the title track, and "Big Tears Fall" are the most commercial songs here, "Flip Ya Flip" a real odd one, though. Lofgren calls the guys "buddy," telling them to "lift your pretty head, hold it high" and the gals he calls "sister," terms of endearment for sure from a macho figure who has full-fledged membership in the "E Street" gang. Is the title track about an off-color gesture or life on a trampoline or indiscernible sexuality? Perhaps all of the above. "Secrets in the Street," "From the Heart," and "Delivery Night" have their moments as well, and if any of this material got consistent airplay, there's a good chance Flip could have found an audience beyond Lofgren's loyal cult. His guitar-playing is first rate, and the sonics are more pronounced than Jeffrey Baxter's ideas on 1981's Night Fades Away, though lacking the ambience of Bob Ezrin's 1979 work on Nils. "Sweet Midnight" has that ever-present '80s snare drum prominent in the mix with Lofgren's guitar right next to it, and the vocals perhaps a little too far in the background, no doubt one of the problems. The guitar slinger for Bruce Springsteen has a technically better voice than "the Boss," and that voice deserved to be up further than the drum in the mix. "Sweet Midnight" is another tune which should have been able to garner some kind of attention, if not on Top 40 at least in the dance clubs. An image of Lofgren in midair adorns the yellow cover, with the album title upside down -- anyone who witnessed the band Grin live got to see Lofgren do somersaults onstage. Had they re-cut the cover of the Beatles' "Anytime at All" from Night Fades Away with this thunderous beat rather than the light pop found on that disc, it could have done the trick. Lofgren is an important artist who deserves a breakthrough hit and a retrospective combining the most accessible tracks from his rich catalog. Flip is a decent outing worthy of more than a few spins.
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione