Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The Doobies' great Listen to the Music, Long Train Running and China Grove in the late 60s/early 70s were driven by urgent guitars and hammering keyboards delivering a forward momentum (which denied the stoner reference of their chosen name).
But surely no old
fans could fall for the limp, lame and geriatric opener here A
Brighter Day (with steel drums and, of all things, a narrative)
or the cliched follow-up Chateau.
The third track in Nobody –
which remakes the version on their debut album to replicate the
energy of Listen to the Music and with founder Tom Johnston's
distinctive guitar – might get hopes up, but even the most
charitable would admit this, the first Doobies' album under their
name in 10 years, is at its best when it echoes former greatness.
Then there is all the rest, including
the weirdly bad and quavering ballad I Know We Won with Willie
Nelson. The mawkish ballads (the awful, sentimental Far From Home
and worse Little
Prayer) remind you why
former vocalist Michael McDonald left for a career in equally vacuous
nonsense – and he returns for crafted but emotionally empty Don't
Say Goodbye, which is his forte.
The Bob Seger-like Young Man's Game,
Cuban-influenced Old Juarez (which deserves a Santana guitar
part) and the alt.country/slide guitar Law Dogs (with Little
Feat's Bill Payne on keyboards) are worth investigating.
But overall, this long train has long since run.
Like the best of this? Then try this.