One of the biggest names of the 70s has come back swinging. Unfortunately, his swing is inconsistent and he doesnt always hit. Fortunately, when he does connect, he knocks it out of the park. Opening cut Verge Of A Thing rocks hard. Metallic, hard, dreamy and tongue in cheek, its a success on all counts. My favorite line from the record comes early, I think in English but my blood is rushin is silly fun and Frampton obviously gets his own joke. Thats rare for an artist of his vintage. Things turn inward on Hour Of Need and its sincerely hard to tell that this is an artist thats been recording for more than three decades. Of course, when the psychedelia-tinged I Need Ground appears later, the age shows a little more. A cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps also reminds you that Frampton was a contemporary of George Harrison. This reading is respectful and an obvious tribute to a lost friend. Not Forgotten, continues the theme, but even with the yellowing of age, this one could have appeared on Frampton Comes Alive with its crystal acoustic tones and warm melodies. This ones a little soft and from here, the album kind of falls off its mark. Flying Without Wings, Im Back and Mia Rose both couldve been excised and the balance of the disc is just okay. Ive got to say, though, that the record is much better than I thought it would be. About half of the record is solid and all but a couple of the other tracks are pleasant enough bridges to the good stuff to make it worthwhile. This album will come and go with the season and almost no one will notice. Thats kind of a shame.
Chris McKay / concertshots.com