Thursday, January 13, 2011

Al Stewart - Time Passages (1978)

Al Stewart’s post-“Year of the Cat” musical trajectory is something of an anomaly. His 40+ year career sort of goes full circle, but starting with 1978’s Time Passages, he begins to expand his sound somewhat. He doesn’t stray too drastically from his trademark folk, but he definitely explores a plethora of new and interesting pop styles. He also never fails to include a touch of mythos and historical references in his songs. Although some of his mid to late eighties material borders on cheesy adult contemporary, there is a certain flair that makes it enjoyable and not too kitschy. Another highlight of his songwriting is an intrinsic optimism delivered in a poetic and intelligent fashion. There are some exceptions to the optimistic vibe on Time Passages, such as “Life in Dark Water” which has a moody, slightly ominous tone, but mainly the album consists of auspicious and ornate soft rock. Overall it’s a really likeable and relaxing record and one of his best, in my opinion.

Rating: 9/10


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