Player

Too Many Reasons

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For most listeners -- almost all, actually -- Player are known for their ultra-smooth yacht rock staple "Baby Come Back," one of the great soft rock singles of the late '70s, so it would stand to reason that their 2013 comeback, Too Many Reasons, would find the group stuck in that particular moment. That's not the case. Player -- now a duo of Peter Beckett and Ronn Moss, supported by a collection of professional players -- are happy to be stuck in the late '80s, creating a heavy, propulsive stadium rock that could have competed with Nelson back in the day. At times, Beckett and Moss get a little softer and sweeter and they even indulge in a taste for swirling, circling psychedelia that brings to mind Tears for Fears more than Sgt. Pepper's, but such self-conscious virtuosity underlines that Player are skilled, that they're not reliant on dredging up the past. Even so, Too Many Reasons doesn't exist in the present; it's out of time, suggesting many different eras that are staples of classic rock but have no hope of being heard in 2013. This isn't a problem for fans who are loyal, as this is expertly crafted album rock, appealing in its proud precision, but anybody who hasn't had the time or inclination to follow Player years after their big hit will find this somewhat perplexing.

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