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Jon Anderson - In The City Of Angels CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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2.67 | 112 ratings

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3 stars Jon ANDERSON recorded this album in Los Angeles and Hollywood, thus the title and the presence of familiar L.A. session musicians. Much of the material is cowritten with others (Don Freeman, David Paich), including two tracks cowritten with Motown legend Lamont Dozier. The music, which matches immaculate production and trite arrangements with Jon's spiritual sensibilities, feels like a lost Disney soundtrack much of the time. There are a few likeable tracks on here, such as the charming "If It Wasn't for Love" and the energetic "New Civilization", but for every step forward the album takes a step back. A couple of these songs did get better treatment on the orchestral Change We Must, notably "Hurry Home (Song from the Pleiades)" and "It's on Fire". The better moments are those that sound most like Jon, whether the wordy but intelligent "Sundancing (for the Hopi/Navajo Energy)" or the simple "For You." The problem with "In the City of Angels" is the perceived portability of Jon ANDERSON's voice; he's more than a vocalist in search of a setting. It's true that he catered to a more commercial audience on Big Generator, and tracks like "Top of the World (The Glass Bead Game)" are in line with that album's offerings, but there's a world of difference between what you'll tolerate from Alan White versus a Jeff Porcaro. Jon rises above his surroundings half of the time, but "In the City of Angels" still raises the question of what he was doing there in the first place.

daveconn | 3/5 |


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