1973, Music

Diamond Girl (1973) by Seals and Crofts

I am fascinated, on some level, by bands that want to combine “soft rock” and pop with roots music because fundamentally they are two very different things. The whole point of roots music was to return to the pre-rock professionalism, which necessarily embraces the rough edges. But the essence of soft rock, and much if not most pop, is to iron out the rough edges. Soft rock is about the very denial of the rough edges of life.

So it comes as a huge surprise to me that the band that did the title track also tries their hand at blues and country and, um, jazz rock. And almost – almost – pulls it off. (In fact, they’re so close to almost pulling it off on “Wisdom” that I could honestly believe it’s an entirely different band.) If they would just commit a little bit more to these genres, instead of trying to maintain their soft rock palate, we might have had something passable here.

Because these guys are good musicians, they just lack good instincts (and, um, taste). None of the other songs are as catchy (or annoying) as the title track and the lyrics are pretty terrible, but the musicianship is competent enough, and the range of styles broad enough, that this record should work.

It doesn’t help that one of them doesn’t sing very well on his own (fine at the harmonies, distracting on the leads) but I would like to think that if this wasn’t drenched in ’70s sheen, it might actually be okay.

Alas, these guys don’t want to offend anyone and they would really like to be played at your dentist’s, if you don’t mind.

I may be fascinated by such amalgams from an intellectual perspective, but certainly not enough to ever listen to this again.

A grudging 5/10 because it’s both competent and diverse, but rest assured this is some wussy, wussy music.

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