The American Dream

Review by Bob Stroud (Switch to

Todd's first production is a bit of a rag-tag affair. I've read where Todd explained that he ended up producing the album in the new studio at the Record Plant in NYC because nobody else was around who knew how to run the equipment. And sometimes it sounds as if Todd were having problems learning the gear as well. It's an overly gimmicky production with phasing and filtering all over the place. It's eq-ed in a typical Rundgren frequency that sometimes makes it hard to listen to. All that said, there are some solid performances on the album. Nick Jameson is an excellent guitarist, and it's his playing that propels a majority of these songs. You may remember Nick's stint with Foghat on the Fool For the City album, where he was employed as bassist/producer. He also cut a couple of solo albums, one on Bearsville in which he covered The American Dream song, I Ain't Searchin'. The album opens with Good News, a song that contains all of the elements of the band, pretty CS&N harmonies, straight ahead garage rockin', and a loose humorous approach. These guys did not take themselves seriously. Big Brother is a jingly-jangly Byrdsy-folk rocker that is indeed about an Orwelian character. They do a credible cover of the Righteous Brothers classic, My Babe, a colorful mid-tempo rocker, complete with out of tune piano called Storm, and the highlight of the album, the above mentioned I Ain't Searchin'. Coulda been a hit, with a better lead vocal, and a more radio friendly production. But then again, Todd's never been very radio friendly. They were good for just the one album, and that's too bad. A sophomore effort would have been better. The rhythm section ended up playing on Birthday Carol on Todd's 1st album.

Word of warning! Stay away from the CD available through Pony Canyon! It's a horrible transfer in which someone was totally asleep at the wheel! It sounds as if the tape gets slower and slower and slower, until the last song, Raspberries, is barely going anywhere. Inexcusable! Seek out the vinyl in a second hand store.

Bob Stroud

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