P.F. Sloan

Raised on Records

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Raised on Records was a reflection of its times, with P.F. Sloan entering a mellower singer/songwriter phase, in tune with trends of the early 1970s. It almost seems as if Sloan has been influenced by James Taylor, and to a much lesser extent other low-key performers of the ilk like Cat Stevens (not nearly so much in his songwriting as in the laidback production). Sloan's underrated singing is good, and his writing is fair, but the compositions don't have as much sting as those on his first albums. Post-mid-'60s Sloan tends to be best when the arrangements are sparsest and the melodies most bittersweet, which doesn't happen too often here, but peeks through on "The Night the Trains Broke Down," "Como," and "Midnight Girl." Remakes of his well-known mid-'60s songs "Let Me Be" and "Sins of a Family" would be a lot more impressive if they didn't have to suffer comparison with the originals (against which they fall short). By most singer/songwriter contrasts, this would be considered a respectable collection; by Sloan's own high standards, it's among his lesser releases.

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