Tommy Flanders

The Moonstone

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By the time Tommy Flanders put out his little-heard solo album in 1969, he'd moved into music which had little to do with the blues and R&B covers he'd belted out in his brief stint as the Blues Project's original lead singer in the mid-'60s. Instead, it was very laid-back early singer/songwriter folk-rock, somewhat similar to the early James Taylor, as well as in looser senses to Dion's late-'60s folk-rock and Tim Hardin (whose "Reputation" Flanders had covered on an earlier single). Despite some top-flight backup musicians in Bruce Langhorne, Dick Rosmini, and Jerry Scheff, it was a fairly forgettable record, and certainly a low-energy one, the mellowness threatening to dissolve into sleepiness. It's one of those albums where nothing's especially wrong, but neither is anything especially right. Flanders' vocals are pleasant but undistinguished, and the songs -- all self-penned, one in collaboration with another writer -- amble by without making much of a dent. Often romantically inclined, and sometimes countrified, it only goes into harder ground on the title cut, which has some darkly swooping fuzz guitar and borderline psychedelic organ-piano interplay.

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