From the Vault...


Jackson Browne
"The Pretender"

© Asylum Records

Year of Release: 1976

track listing
  • The Fuse
  • Your Bright Baby Blues
  • Linda Paloma
  • Here Come Those
    Tears Again
  • The Only Child
  • Daddy's Tune
  • Sleep's Dark And
    Silent Gate
  • The Pretender

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    Jackson Browne related sites:
    Jackson Browne Website
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    Jackson Browne
    "The Pretender"

    Jackson Browne -- either you like him or you don't. Music wise, his blending of soft country and California rock helped pave the way for such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and The Eagles. Although you may agree or (mostly) disagree with his personal life, like his political beliefs in the Eighties, and his abusive relationship with actress Daryl Hannah, my focus is how his music is enjoyed, not only by myself, but by others who enjoy popular music.

    I first discovered Jackson Browne's music when I received his album Late For The Sky. This album, like this week's album pick of the week, The Pretender, focuses on mellow, soft country tunes. I really enjoyed the Late album, with the mellow and upbeat rock tunes. However, The Pretender mostly focuses on more mellow tunes. In fact, the entire album is just that -- mellow, soft country tunes. Some songs start out in that fashion, and then jumps to an upbeat tempo (like Daddy's Tune), But all in all, this album is enjoyable to the ear.

    The things that stand out in this album is how Jackson Browne uses musical instruments to bring out the songs to your attention:

  • The piano -- it really stands out in songs like The Fuse, and the title track, The Pretender, which is considered a classic tune. Linda Paloma is showcased as a pleasant, spanish-style tune. Featuring a piano that really sounds like a harp, (is it a piano or a harp?) giving the song a nice spanish-sounding effect -- very impressive.

  • The guitar -- not your standard electric guitar, but the famous country steel guitar. Songs like The Fuse, and Your Bright Baby Blues features this. This instrument is not heavily used throughout the songs, but when it comes in for an occasional solo, it gives each song a nice, clean musical touch.

  • The Pretender is from an era in Jackson Browne's career before he began writing political-driven tunes. Truthfully, his best albums are those done in his early years (the 1970s); they define the style of great soft-country music. If you enjoy the styles of those already mentioned (The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt), you won't be disappointed in discovering Jackson Browne's early works.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Asylum Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #551
    Ray Parker Jr.--The Best Of Ray Parker Jr. And Raydio
    Next Review: #553
    Donna Summer--The Donna Summer Anthology