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Roxy Review

by Joe Viglione

In some critic circles one hears Bob Segarini over and over again. And in other critic circles the word is, "What is the big deal about Bob Segarini? Perhaps some of the overhype can be traced to Bomp magazine editor Greg Shaw who -- in the liner notes to 1973's Dudes album on CBS -- goes overboard in his praise. There is a great composition on this self titled album by Roxy, and that is "Yesterday's Song," a pretty, eerie, moody, well sung, well constructed, well performed piece of music surrounded by other well-performed tunes which are competent, but not the next coming. The verdict on Bob Segarini is that he has a voice that you feel you've heard before, maybe David Crosby meets Country Joe by way of Doug Sahm. "Rock & Roll Circus" is fun, but it is all so derivative. The album cover is late-'60s kitsch with a clown face, a mask, rainbows, and the band members kind of scattered, not very telling, and not very compelling, so there's strike one. The back photo with the combo British and California clothing styles and the deer-in-headlights photo of the band doesn't do much to bolster the image either -- they look like Blues Magoos wannabes rather than Meet the Beatles. And where image was supposed to play such a pivotal role in their quest for world domination, well, it is completely absent here. Who did have the image were the fellows in Roxy Music, or Nick Gilder, when he was in Sweeny Todd and had the minor minor hit "Roxy Roller." What Roxy needed to do was to pull a Stories and run off with someone else's hit single. As Ian Lloyd absconded with a Hot Chocolate hit, Segarini needed to invade Nick Gilder's space. Is Roxy an important album? It's not the great lost holy grail; it's a decent record by a decent group, but Roy Cicala and Lori Burton's production of the Arbors doing "The Letter" is the kind of thing needed here. For all the hype, songs like Randy Bishop's "I Got My Friends" or Segarini's "Love, Love, Love," "New York City," "Somebody Told You," "You Got a Lot of Style," etc., are not revelations -- you've heard them all before in different forms -- but at least the record isn't awful. It's, as stated, well performed and well constructed music by a non-descript band. The world is not greater or lesser because of the album Roxy by a band once known as Roxy.

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