Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Review #6 - Keep The Fire

What I'm Reviewing: Music (Album)
Musician: Kenny Loggins
Album Title: Keep The Fire
Year of Release: 1979
Label: Sony
Album Artwork:

Kenny Loggins is a nice bearded fellow who made annoying country ballads with his friend, Jimmy Messina, became fairly popular, and then decided to eke out an existence in the world of smooth rock and pop. I have a weird place in my heart of Loggins. The origins of my enjoyment can probably be traced through the insanely clever webseries, Yacht Rock, but I like to believe that inside everyone's heart, somewhere along the left ventricle, there's a special place for Loggins. That same special place is where fat collects and clogs arteries, but pay no heed, Loggins is not to blame. He's smooth and is like aloe on a heart burn. If I was a doctor and you had a heart condition, I'd prescribe two cans of Loggins at midafternoon. And for a limited time only when you buy two cans of fresh Loggins heart paste, you can get a tub of Michael McDonald free. Rub a dub dub indeed!

Sorry for the outburst of stupidity, but Loggins boggles the brain with his smooth pop finesse. Look at that album art. He's offering up a shining orb and I bet if you reached for it, your libido would skyrocket. This is why Loggins is the only man who could possibly contain such an orb. Seriously. You're libido would transcend over the psychological plain of emotions and hormones and would evolve into another equally bright orb of light. Unfortunately, this would throw in a completely different gravity field and everything in the galaxy would fly into rampant discord. For this reason Loggins disallows any touching of the orb, but he'll let you listen to the wondrous glowing. Can you hear it? I can. It begins with track one.

Love Has Come of Age: I like it already. Synth, heavy bass, a horn section? This song is kicking my ass all over the place. Awesome rhythm section in this. It even has a hint of prog-iness near the end. A great intro that slaps you in the face with a smooooth backhand. This song drives home the message I've been sending ladies for ages now: "If a gigolo's what you're after, you'll have to hold on tight". Gigolo's are slippery, remember that.

Mr Night: There's only one point I like in this song. It's when Kenny Loggins doesn't let the saxophonist do a solo; instead he follows the entire sax run with a "grizzly" country voice while emulating the tone of the sax. Even the fast parts that were never meant to be heard from a human mouth. It's hilarious. "DoobadeDOOODOOOdoobadeDOOODOOO!!!!". The rest of the song is shitty overembellished country garbage. Loggins proves once again that to know the light of smooth music, one must also know the darkness and evil of shit country music. Me learning a lesson = profound song.

This Is It: Ah. Yes. This beautiful duet with Michael McDonald is one of the defining pieces of Loggins's discography. Everything in this song reflects the confusion of one man struggling to maintain a relationship with the woman he loves. This is music folks, plain and simple. Subtle electric guitar against a stirring string section helps to heighten the emotional level that I'm feeling as I write this. If I had to describe the song in three words: Better. Than. Porn. Ok, well I might be overshooting that, but definitely better than sex.

Junkanoo Holiday (Fallin'-Flyin'): Whoa whoa whoa whoa WHAT!? A transition from smooth rock into a chorus of bongos and wooden wind-based instruments? Stop right there Loggins, because my shirt is wet with sweat and lactation. I see what you did there. Played the Paul Simon/tribal music card. This is incredible... think Paul Simon's Graceland album mixed with CopaCabana, mixed with slap bass, mixed with the theme song of Miami Vice. Now that I think about it, this was released before Graceland. Paul Simon was the one who took a page out of the Loggins's book of smooth and exposed many african communities to that smoothness. Loggins deserved that grammy. I'm pretty sure this song is about doing mass amounts of cocaine: "everybody's happy in
A junkanoo holiday. When you're letting go you're an island volcano, you're a summer night". Way to push the envelope, Loggins.

Now and Then: This one's slow. Oh boy. Looks like a throwback to the Messina days. BUT Loggins made a logical choice by replacing Jimmy Messina's voice with that of an accordian. The only way I could describe the guitar chord structure in this is cramped and papery. Loggins voice is great of course, but the rest of the song is what I'd call a piece of junk-anoo.

Who's Right, Who's Wrong: This is one of those songs that really benefits from background singers. They're doing most of the work here, as is the Saxophonist. Kenny is barely anywhere to be found in this one. He's not even following the sax line with his voice. It's still damn smooth though. And there's a quick smash of synth at the end which is kinda cool. If anything, it makes good background music to listen to while you're listening to another smooth Loggins track.

Keep The Fire: Whoa. Fuck Kraftwerk. Fuck Daft Punk. If I want korg-esque vocals, I'll be listening to the beginning of this beauty. Vocoder enhanced vocals shine out in the chorus as well. They create incredible harmonies that only strengthen the organic foundations of Loggins's milky white voice. I'm afraid to play this album too much, because the artificially created "speech" in my macbook may well become aroused and try to moan longingly through the earphones for their mechanized counterparts dispersed throughout the title track. This is probably the most inspirational song on the album. It just drives home that maxim we all strive to base our lives on "keep the fire burning": I'd really like to end this review here but NOPE!

Give It Half A Chance: Unlike the rest of the album, this one seems ardently homosexual. I suppose it's a testament to Loggins's subjective songwriting skills. But seriously... this one makes George Michael and Freddie Mercury look like womanizing Irishmen. It's past gay.. it's past effeminate. It's a whole new gender that's overtly girlie and half-retarded. But that's what this album's about. Breaking the chains that bind smooth rock.



because it ended.

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