Double Vision (1978)


  
1. Hot Blooded 2. Blue Morning Blue Day 3. You're All I Am 4. Back Where You Belong 5. Love Has Taken It's Toll 6. Double Vision 7. Tramontane 8. I Have Waited So Long 9. Lonely Children 10.Spellbinder

 

In the late 1970s - early 1980s, Foreigner was churning out hit single after hit single, with their respective studio albums coming out virtually every year. Because of this, it's very easy to look back on this time as "great" when reflecting the quality of this band's overall work. Truth of the matter is, however, that some of their records would have quite a bit of forgettable filler even though there might be a couple of brilliant hit songs. This album is a prime example. Everyone knows the singles Hot Blooded and Double Vision, and you would be hard pressed to find any lover of rock and roll to find anything wrong with either of these cuts. Even if you didn't like "commercial" or "arena" rock, there was something mighty special about hearing some of the songs by this band. Throw in another top 40 hit that's pretty powerful, Blue Morning, Blue Day, and it's easy to see why many lump this album in with all of the band's other "classics".

Truth be told, though, once you get past these three cuts, the rest of this album is pretty blah. Nothing else really stands out, and it seems like the guys still might be trying to find a unique sound since this was only their second album. Many will say that the formula here is the same as on their self-titled debut album, but I would disagree. This record seems to reflect that they're playing it a bit too safe, afraid to take many chances, and the results get us mostly unmemorable pop as opposed to biting rock-and roll.

True, Foreigner would one day release some killer power ballads during their lifetime, but the slowed down numbers here, such as You're All I Am and Spellbinder could possibly be marketed as a cure for insomnia. They're also still a bit too reliant on the ever powerful synthesizer, and Mick Jones is still singing lead more than he should (only on two songs, but that's still too many). It's not that his singing is that bad, it's just too distant from Lou Gramm's voice, and let's face it, Lou Gramm is definitely the voice of the band. One cut that Mick sings, I Have Waited So Long is actually quite good, but it's simply not a good Foreigner song. Same could be said about the synth heavy instrumental Tramontane. It has its own rewards, but now seems to be a mistake when looking back on what really made this band so strong.

In fact, the only thing that resembles the good, classic Foreigner sound is the buried Lonely Children. Even though it sounds a lot like the band's trademark sound, it still really isn't that good. Love Has Taken Its Toll has a pretty decent riff, but Lou Gramm is almost speaking the song as opposed to singing it. It's definitely a drawback.

I suppose that when this record came out in 1978, most purchasers were quite pleased, but time would show us that they could do much better.

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