The Babys

The Babys

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Made up of a collection of up-and-coming stars from the mid-'70s British rock scene (including future solo artist John Waite), the Babys seemed like superstars in the making, yet their 1976 debut album failed to find an audience. The main reason for this is that the album, while competent, is a bland affair. The group attacks their self-penned material with gusto, but the songs often come off as half-formed musically and lyrically. Prime examples of these tendencies are "Wild Man," a rock & roll statement of intent that is steeped in clich├ęd "rebel" sentiments and burdened with a sluggish tempo, and "I Believe in Love," a ballad that lacks the emotional conviction necessary to get over its uninspired lyrics. The album also suffers from a surprisingly lifeless production by Bob Ezrin and Brian Christian: For instance, the sound of "Dying Man" is too minimalist and lacking in dynamics to achieve the dark atmosphere it strives for. Just the same, other songs manage to escape these pitfalls to show what the Babys were capable of: "If You've Got the Time" is a speedy rocker driven by Tony Brock's ferocious drum attack, and the group's cover of the Paris Sisters' "I Love How You Love Me" achieves the sort of steamy grandeur that the album's other romantic songs lack. "Over and Over," a confessional ballad that builds from a solo piano accompaniment to a punchy power ballad finale, is another effective tune that points toward the Babys' future hit-making potential. Overall, the Babys show a sense of potential that the group would soon realize but is too lacking in polish and conviction to make a rewarding listen for anyone except hardcore AOR fanatics.

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