Rendezvous with the Angels

Tony Lucca

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Rendezvous with the Angels Review

by William Ruhlmann

There was a time when the kind of appealing pop/rock music made by singer/songwriter Tony Lucca would have made him a million-selling artist. Unfortunately, that time was around 1975, the popular heyday of his obvious models, people like James Taylor and Jackson Browne. By the late '90s, when Lucca emerged, he had to go the indie route, at first releasing his recordings himself and then contracting with Rock Ridge Music. 2010's Rendezvous with the Angels is his sixth album, and it is another collection of soothing, slightly soulful folk-rock. Lucca uses his breathy, elastic tenor either to profess his undying love to "you" in sincere, if clichéd terms, or to lament, with equal sincerity, that, for some unspecified reason, that love doesn't seem to be working out. Actually, he is a bit more reminiscent of the second echelon of ‘70s singer/songwriters, Jim Croce, say, or Kenny Loggins in their softer efforts, since he is more concerned with the groove and getting to the chorus than with saying anything in an original way. At times, he suggests other singers of the time, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy in "Long Love Letter," for example, and Aaron Neville in "Anchored." (It's not really that Lucca sounds so much like Neville, it's that the song, a slow ballad with an arrangement featuring a churchy organ, sounds like it ought to have been sung by Neville.) Lucca acknowledges another of his influences by covering Billy Joel's "Vienna." It's all easy on the ears and likely to reward him with a female following curious to know who that is singing in the background of a scene on a TV show such as Brothers & Sisters or Felicity (both of which, among others, have featured his music). But for Lucca to rank among his idols, he would have to work at least as hard on the content of his music as on its style.

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