Good Trouble (1982)


1. Keep the Fire Burnin' 2. Sweet Time 3. Girl With the Heart of Gold 4. Every Now and Then 5. I'll Follow You 6. The Key 7. Back in My Heart Again 8. Let's Be-Bop 9. Stillness of the Night 10.Good Trouble


 

I don't think there's ever been such an obvious attempt from a band to issue a carbon copy of their last release as this one. But really, who can blame them? I mean, if you had only modest success after ten years and nine albums together and then suddenly exploded, would you have the guts to change that much on your next album? I mean, witness the album cover. That says it all. This is now the morning after of what happened on the cover of the ten million plus seller Hi Infidelity. Musically, as stated, it's pretty much exactly the same as the last record.

This is why so many critics, who were never too kind to begin with when it came to these guys, wrote this album off so quickly. To be fair, it didn't do nearly as well as its predecessor, since most fans probably had worn out their copies of Hi Infidelity and were ready to move on to a slightly different sound. Song for song, however, this one matches up pretty well against the number one album of 1981, so listening to both of these records so many years later, you really can't love one without loving the other as well.

There are a few things that maybe make it not as appealing. First of all, it might be my imagination, but the first two songs that lead off this album, Keep the Fire Burnin' and Sweet Time sound almost identical to the two lead off songs to 1978's You Can Tune a Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish. That was a great album as well, it's just that no one really bought it, so it's almost as if the guys are trying to reintroduce the songs Roll With the Changes and Time For Me To Fly by redoing them slightly and giving them a new name. The new songs here are good, but they never quite took hold, and, sadly would somehow disappear from a lot of future compilations and live shows.

Bruce Hall adds two songs to the mix here, and he, as usual delivers. Sadly, I wish someone would have bought him a thesaurus, or at least a dictionary when he was composing, as the songs are quite awful in the lyrics department. But, really, as corny as the title Let's Be-Bop sounds, it really is a good song. Speaking of corny lyrics, the song Good Trouble is a bit of a juvenile moment as well. The lyrics are so bad, that it really does take a bit of joy away from the listening experience.

The whole album really is a lot of fun, though. These guys weren't really taking themselves too seriously at this point. This is a party record, the party that they started with Hi Infidelity, and weren't ready to quite stop yet. It was a fun ride, and I'm glad they kept going for awhile. It might have been a commercial disappointment, but any fan of the band has to honestly say that it hits you right in all of the same places as the last record.



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