Lucifer's Friend

I'm Just a Rock 'n' Roll Singer

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On their third album, Lucifer's Friend took a new tack: instead of being a progressive band or a hard rock band, they decided to incorporate both styles into a more ambitious sound that also worked in elements of soul and jazz. The resulting album, I'm Just a Rock 'n' Roll Singer, lacks the coherent flow that defines a good album but offers an array of tuneful, well-crafted tracks nonetheless. By this time, the band had learned to make their songwriting the focus of each track and tamed the instrumental soloing that overwhelmed Where the Groupies Killed the Blues. As a result, the tracks are listener friendly, yet have their own distinctive feel; a notable example is "Groovin' Stone," a song that was their most straightforward hard rock song to date, yet also offered a number of interesting keyboard and percussive shadings that the listener wouldn't normally expect from such a tune. Other standouts include "Blind Freedom," a jazzy tune that features strong harmonies (all overdubbed by lead vocalist John Lawton) plus some serpentine electric piano work from Peter Hecht, and the title track, a tongue-in-cheek sendup of rock & roll life that combines an old fashioned rock & roll melody with a giant wall of sound production (complete with a Blood Sweat and Tears-style horn section). The downside of I'm Just a Rock 'n' Roll Singer is that it tries out so many different musical elements out that it feels more like a compilation of songs than a real album. It might also annoy some prog-rock fans with the overt pop leanings of tracks like "Groovin' Stone" and the title track. Despite these caveats, this is a polished and listener friendly album that will entertain anyone interested in Lucifer's Friend.

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