Cut straight on the heels of Bad Company's 1974 debut -- just a matter of three months later; not quite long enough to know how big a success the first LP would be -- Straight Shooter is seemingly cut from the same cloth as its predecessor. It is, after all, a tight collection of eight strong, steady, heavy rockers that never, ever proceed in a hurry, but from the moment "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" kicks off the proceedings, it's clear that Bad Company have decided to expand their palette this second time around. Where Bad Company was stark, minimalist hard rock, Straight Shooter bears lots of different, vibrant colors: acoustic guitars are used for light and shade, guitars are channeled through chorus pedals, pianos and organs alternate with the occasional wash of strings, and the entire thing feels bigger and bolder than before. Sometimes, it is also better: the two big hits, "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Shooting Star," became classic rock staples due to this expanded aural vocabulary, and even straight-ahead rockers like "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" and "Deal with the Preacher" benefit from this additional muscle, while they feel comfortable enough to settle into a soulful groove on "Anna" and "Call on Me." This dexterity compensates for the occasional stumble -- aka, the hamfisted funk-rock of "Wild Fire Woman" -- and shows that Bad Company can sound just as powerful and threatening when they're not concentrating on a heavy guitar crunch.
Straight Shooter Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine