Gregg Rolie

Gregg Rolie

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Gregg Rolie Review

by Rob Theakston

After leaving Journey right before the whirlwind arena rock-friendly, chart-topping superstardom that defined their career began, Gregg Rolie took some time off to catch his breath, reflect, and then hit the studio again on his own terms. Rather than be held down by other people's creative agendas, he took the solo course and released his eponymous solo debut. Collaborating with keyboardist Peter Wolf on the first three songs, Rolie favors a more polished, radio-friendly approach to his songs instead of the hard-driving rock sound of Santana and Journey. "I Wanna Go Back" would later be a hit for Eddie Money, but Rolie's version is taken with a sense of melancholy and sobriety when compared with Money's urgent plea to turn back the hands of time. The remainder of the album is straight-ahead, no-frills pop filler, instantly forgettable but pleasantly inoffensive. Guest cameos from Rolie's mentor Carlos Santana, former bandmate Neal Schon, and Starship's Craig Chaquico spice things up a bit, but that doesn't save the ship from merely meandering along song after song until the album's conclusion. While it's a decent piece of recording on balance, its dated sound will make it a necessity for die-hard Rolie and Journey fans only.

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