Mark Lindsay

Looking for Shelter

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Mark Lindsay released his last major-label recording, a single, on Warner Bros. Records in 1977. But his last commercial success, as a solo act and as a member of Paul Revere & the Raiders, dates back to 1971. When he began hawking this new solo album at the start of the 1990s, he was looking for a new deal in a new era. (He didn't find one, but he eventually made the disc available on his website). So, it is perhaps not surprising that Looking for Shelter doesn't sound anything like his '60s rock hits with the Raiders, or like the adult contemporary pop he made early in his solo career. What it does sound like is a contemporary pop/rock album, circa the mid-to-late-'80s, when it was recorded. Followers of Lindsay shouldn't be surprised, anyway, since the singer/songwriter was always a chameleon, consciously shaping his Raiders' singles to sound like the latest work of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Here, he has clearly been listening to the synthesizer-dominated rock of the '80s, particularly acts like Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, Starship, and the Thompson Twins, among others (his lead-off track, "Man on a Mission," utilizes a riff that recalls Rick James' "Super Freak" and Falco's "Der Kommissar"). And his vocal versatility is equally adaptable. Old fans will occasionally recognize his voice, especially when he growls, but he has been listening to Phil Collins and Sting, and some of their sound comes out of him. The focus on style dominates any assessment of the album, since the songs are more production ideas than anything else. "Back to You" is an attack on someone who betrayed the singer, whether an old lover or an old associate (Paul Revere?) is not clear, and "Smoking Gun" is a seriously intended call for environmental responsibility. But most of the songs are slight, if not outright, novelties.

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