When Foghat founder Lonesome Dave Peverett (lead vocals and guitar) started his career with Savoy Brown in the late '60s, there was still something progressive about young Brits tackling American blues, R&B, and even some rockabilly, but as the musician entered his third decade of recording, artistic compromises and commercial success had watered-down the entire genre of blues-based hard rock, thanks largely to bands like his own. Although Foghat had released a string of very successful recordings, the group's final two releases of the '70s, Stone Blue and Boogie Motel, both suffered from declining (although still substantial) sales. Peverett's response to the suddenly suspect viability of his group's arena rock sound was to take his songwriting in a more modern (if not quite fitting) direction on Tight Shoes. New wave and punk had emerged out of the U.K. in the late '70s, largely in response to the somewhat formulaic and self-aggrandizing hard rock that had somehow overtaken the entire non-disco musical landscape. Although listeners might cringe while trying to imagine a musical amalgam somewhere between "Slow Ride" and "Watching the Detectives," assessing Foghat's attempt at eclecticism isn't quite as simple as it may appear. The group's musicianship and studio finesse keep tracks like the single "Stranger in My Home Town" and "Baby Can I Change Your Mind" from becoming awkward attempts at timeliness. Instead, Foghat successfully incorporates stripped-down sonics and simpler, almost pop arrangements into Tight Shoes, making it more than a hopeless grasp at musical relevance, making it worthwhile.
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson