Eric Andersen

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On his second album with rock instrumentation (following 'Bout Changes & Things, Take 2, his electrified remake of 'Bout Changes & Things), Andersen was growing more comfortable with a folk-rock setting. Lingering comparisons as a gentler Bob Dylan remained inevitable, though, on tracks like "Tin Can Alley Part 1" and "Tin Can Alley Part 2" (which open and close the record, respectively) in both the vocal phrasing and the anxious strings of odd imagery. Similarities, alas, didn't end there. Several New York sessionmen that played on early folk-rock albums by Dylan and others filled out the sound, including Al Kooper, Bobby Gregg, Herb Lovelle, Paul Harris, and Paul Griffin, and "Honey" doesn't sound too far off the Highway 61 Revisited route, though the song isn't great. There was also some period Baroque folk production -- flowery vibes, peppy horns, light dramatic orchestration, and the like -- that add some color and dimension, but also make it dated. Andersen sounded best on his more tuneful and pensive ballads, like "Miss Lonely Are You Blue" and "Just a Little Something"; the more sardonic and lyrically vague outings just don't seem as in tune with his strengths and artistic personality. There are touches of bluesy vaudevillian honky tonk ("Mary Sunshine," "Hello Sun") and good-time pop (also on "Mary Sunshine," interestingly enough). Other tracks, like the lengthy "Rollin' Home (It's a Far Cry From Heaven but a Short Cry From Home)" and "Broken-Hearted Mama," sound rather like the Blues Project's folk-rock ventures. Ultimately it's a respectable but erratic album.

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