Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Avenue [Collection]

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The liner notes are frustratingly vague on the origins of these 16 tracks. But because the first eight songs feature the lineup that played on their first album and the next eight songs feature the lineup that played on their second album, it seems reasonable to assume that this compiles most or all of the material from Telegraph Avenue's two LPs. It's pleasant if not engaging listening, and sometimes pretty easy to tell where the influence is coming from. "Lauralie" sounds like a variation of Tommy James' "Crystal Blue Persuasion," for instance, while "Happy" has enough late-Beatles pop ambience to please fans of Badfinger or the Nazz; "Sometimes in Winter" has some traits of Santana. Some slight South American folk elements cruise in on tracks like "Sungaligali." The final eight cuts, presumably taken from the 1975 album, are a little more hard rock guitar-oriented, but don't sound all that heavier than the previous ones (presumably taken from the 1971 album). These mid-'70s tracks have an anachronistic feel that makes them feel a few years behind the times, which is if anything a compliment, not a putdown.

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