Friday, March 31, 2017



Yeah, I really could have used a fire to warm me up on a rather chilly Friday night, but I had to settle for the heater and some good old music that just soothed my soul. That last bit is in reference and tribute to the legendary rocker Bob Seger and his memorable 1978 classic, "Old Time Rock And Roll". It occurred to me that it had been ages since I made the man who first made me a fan with his 80's hits "Like A Rock" and "Shakedown" a part of my music-listening itineraries, so I thought it would be nice to have him and his trusty SILVER BULLET BAND crew keep me and my ears company. Specifically, I went for one of his albums from the 90's (my head is still all wrapped up in that decade) and selected "The Fire Inside". It was good getting reconnected with good ole Bob again on the opener, "Take A Chance", which is one of the simplest yet one the most meaningful of songs you'll ever hear, as he reminds about how everything in life comes with risks, especially love. The mellowed side of him, which I remember well from "Like Rock", surfaces on the heart-melting acoustic guitar-driven follow-up, "The Real Love", which represents the exact kind of music I was in the mood for on a chilly quiet night at home. When the song coasts on seemingly forever with the endless delivery of 'until we got the real love', it becomes something to get all cuddled up and cozy with. The classic Bob Seger that I fondly recall from the 80's makes its mark on "Real At The Time". Kind of a bittersweet song, the words of reflection highlighted by 'it was real at the time' and 'I was yours, you were mine', putting in my mind that a fire that was once burning bright no longer being there. But then, the mood brightens up on what is one the most magical romantic soft rock ballads I've heard in recent days: "Always In My Heart". Loved it the minute I heard the sad, bluesy chords of the piano and Bob's mellow voice echoed against the melody; the song gets even more touching when his voice acquires an aching characteristic at certain emotional moments. The most magical moment for me of all had to be this album's magnificent title track—perfectly upbeat soft rock-radio perfect with an excellent piano accompaniment (me wonders if those skills being showed off are coming courtesy of Bruce Hornsby?) and grave lyrics that really get the mind going and the heart shifting, gripping me whenever he cries out 'burning you up'. The bluesy side of Bob Seger swings through on "New Coat Of Paint", where more of those superb piano-playing skills and the slight touch of slow jazz are shown off. I would get that I-know-I've-heard-that-song-before feeling on "The Long Way Home". Something in the way Bob delivers the lyrics about losers, dreamers, beautiful schemers and long-time misusers rung a distant bell, reminding me of Kermit The Frog's "Rainbow Connection" or something similar from the classic folk music era. But I've concluded that I've definitely heard this song before, finding further familiarity with the sad and lonely tonality of the chords, my music senses sparked by the saxophone accompaniment midway through that adds to the heavy weight of the song. A return to the down-to-earth truths is presented on "Blind Love", where Bob is in a country-groovin' spirit as he proclaims that the only kind of love is stone blind—no turning of the head nor the eyes to see anybody else but just that one special person. The timing of "Blind Love" couldn't have been better; I had even considered indulging in some country music (which is something else within the music spectrum that I need to get reconnected with) beforehand. "The Fire Inside" goes out with a bang—and a loud one at that!—on the dancey rock n' roll jam, "She Can't Do Anything Wrong". That's just one of several blasts of a good time I had.....and I was shot down by every one of them:

1. Take A Chance
2. The Real Love
3. Sightseeing
4. Real At The Time
5. Always In My Heart
6. The Fire Inside
7. New Coat Of Paint
8. Which Way
9. The Mountain
10. The Long Way Home
11. Blind Love
12. She Can't Do Anything Wrong

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