Sweetwater

Just for You

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The recording of Sweetwater's second album was hindered by Nanci Nevins' injuries in a serious car accident, which for a time rendered her incapable of performing with the band, although she does sing on much of Just for You. A more serious problem was an overall lack of strength or focus to the material, which covers a lot of bases of 1969-1970 album oriented rock without staking a markedly identifiable patch of its own. The eight-minute title track is indicative of the band's strengths and weaknesses, as the song mixes Latin-influenced percussive grooves, gospel, jazzy flute and violin, and a dreamy Nevins-sung opening passage without really arriving anywhere in particular. At times the music's loose flow is a little similar to the Californian hippie rock of It's a Beautiful Day, especially when Sweetwater uses violin. But it's not as good as even that erratic standard, and the sole non-original manages to make Gene McDaniels' classic soul protest song "Compared to What" over into a blandly strained soul-rocker. A couple of briefer, gentle Nevins-led interludes ("Song for Romeo" and "Day Song") that go into more sparsely arranged, poetic singer/songwriter territory outshine the more ambitious, jam-prone surroundings.

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