Part of that is embracing the mountains of soft rock filling discarded collections, thrift stores, and $1 bins.
But sometimes, I find records that don’t require me to lower my standards to enjoy them.
And that gamble is paying off.
With lush harmonies, sparkling acoustic guitars, moaning guitar solos, and a country tinge to their chart-ready rock and roll, Firefall aims for Eagles-style hits and ends up surpassing them. Opener “It Doesn’t Matter” (co-written by Stephen Stills) points a gun in Don Henley’s face and says, “Hand over ‘One of These Nights,’ and hold the disco.” Tracks like “Love Isn’t All” and “Dolphin’s Lullaby” do tender country/rock ballads better than anyone ever did, while “No Way Out” and “Do What You Want” drop some honky-tonk boogie.
The group’s mega-hit “You Are the Woman” is actually the lowest spot on the album. It’s pleasant, but not much else. And when bookended by the subdued “Sad Ol’ Love Song” and the dark “Mexico,” it fails to stand up against the rest of the album.
The surprise on this album is just how jazzy it is. Which, given bassist Mark Andes’ involvement in Spirit might not actually be that surprising. Sax, flute, and brass find their way into the background of a number of these tracks—and not in a hamfisted way. There’s a tastefulness that gives some of the tracks a sort of Return to Forever vibe.
In a fair world, this disc would be remembered for the piece of understated country rock/soft rock it was, instead of filling the bargain bins of every record store.