Look Into the Future (1976)


 
1. On a Saturday Night 2. It's All Too Much 3. Anyway 4. She Makes Me (Feel Alright) 5. You're On Your Own 6. Look Into the Future 7. Midnight Dreamer 8. I'm Gonna Leave You

 

Journey's sophomore effort, in many ways, is a bit of a step backward from its debut. The type of music that these guys were playing around this time weren't really satisfying that huge of an audience. They had a faithful core around their hometown of San Francisco, but that kind of following is never enough to a sustain a band for too long.

They try to break the mold a bit of being a heavy laden jazz-rock-prog group. Such songs as On a Saturday Night and She Makes Me (Feel Alright) sound like the guys are trying for a radio friendly hit single or two. Try as they may, that just wasn't in the cards for these guys. They do, however, manage to come up with a great cover of The Beatles' It's All Too Much, which was never that well known of a song to begin with, and they do give the song the credit it deserves. On You're On Your Own, though, it sounds like they're trying too hard to emulate The Beatles. It sounds a lot like something off the fab's "Abbey Road", but the song is too one dimensional and never really goes anywhere.

Fortunately, by the time they get to the latter part of the album, they seem to forget trying to be something they can't be, and resort back to the style of their debut record. The best song on the album is easily the eight minute plus title track, Look Into the Future that has the original style and feel of their first album. Midnight Dreamer is also quite fun. The song sounds a bit like a mellowed-out trippy song that, like so many of their songs at this stage, almost would have been better as an instrumental. Gregg Rollie's solos (yes, that's plural - solos) in the middle of the song show just how gifted these guys really were in the studio. He then gets out-done by guitarist Neal Schon's killer chops as the song fades.

They've also whittled down to a foursome on this album. Rhythm Guitarist George Tickner is gone (although he does show up in a few of the writing credits), but not being a musician, I can't really tell much of a difference. Maybe no one else could either - which is why he's gone at this point. Although the guys do sound at times to be floundering with some experiments in new directions that don't quite work, they're still all excellent musicians and it's never the playing that suffers - it's just the songwriting isn't as strong as it could be.

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