Avenue Of Allies 2011
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
Alright... originally released in 1982 and featuring most of the Toto guys as session musicians, this album is somewhat of a westcoast classic. Now it's been reissued by Avenue Of Allies so that everyone has a chance to get a copy.
After releasing this album, David Roberts has stayed out of the limelight, yet he's been quite profilic as a songwriter. Jimmy Barnes, Bad English and Diana Ross are among those artists who have covered Roberts' songs. Back in the early eighties, he had aspirations to become a star on his own, but as fate would have it, "All Dressed Up" didn't lit up the charts. Well, the status of a cult classic is better than nothing.
This album has clearly two sides, almost as if the A-side and the B-side were recorded both with a different style in mind. The A-side (first five tracks) showcases Roberts as a very good soft rocker, very much in the vein of early Toto or Foreigner. All five songs are pretty good, not necessarily what I'd call AOR classics but likeable enough. However, when you flip over the album (metaphorically of course...oh the good ol' times of vinyl...), Roberts sails away to a more jazzier, smoother style of music. Yes, it's "Yacht Rock" time! The second half of the album if frankly too wimpy even for me, with tracks like "Never Let You Go" or "Midnight Rendezvous" sounding like the soundtrack of a lost "Love Boat" episode. I know that there's a lot of westcoast rock fans who adore this sort of smooth music, but really, this isn't even "Adult Oriented Rock", this is elevator music. So, 8 for the A-side, 4 for the B-side... that's a 6 then. Thank you, next please.