Rick Springfield

RCA Records, 1985




The songs from Rick Springfield's 1985 release, Tao, may not ring memory bells as his breakthrough albums Working Class Dog and/or Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, but Tao is an album where fans of Springfield may notice a more cutting edge on some songs, where the rest of the songs' styles are the usual Springfield/mid-1980s rock.

"Dance The World Away" has the definite 1980s Springfield rock, as it is a bit harder than his well-known songs like "Jessie's Girl" and "Don't Talk To Strangers". Likewise "Celebrate Youth" is another rocker, having a somewhat Duran Duran beat.

"State Of The Heart" and "Written In Rock" have the common 1980s sound, and it's a familiar sound if you're a fan of Springfield's music. If not, these songs can be compared to such 1980s acts acts as John Waite, Sammy Hagar and/or Night Ranger. "The Power Of Love (The Tao Of Love)" slows down the pace just a bit (musicwise), and is a common mid-1980s rock ballad.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Walking On The Edge" starts out eerie, with its Satan-talking vocals, then kicks into an upbeat Duran Duran beat, as in their hit, "Girls On Film," with its drumbeat and synthesizers. "Walk Like A Man" is another common 80s/Springfield song, as in other previous hits of his, "I've Done Everything For You" or Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone." The beginning and ending guitar licks are similar to The Police's "Don't Stand So Close To Me."

"The Tao Of Heaven", like "The Power Of Love (The Tao Of Love)" is another slow-paced song, clocking in at under two minutes. "Stranger In The House" is a medium-rock song, having a somewhat Duran Duran sound, yet it's also a common mid-1980s rocker. The album ends with the touching piano-driven ballad, "My Father's Chair," a dedication to Springfield's father, who had passed away. (For those who saw the VH-1 "Behind The Music" episode on Springfield's biography, he was very close to his father.) This song's style is easily compared to the ballads of Elton John, like The Lion King's "Can You Feel The Love Tonight."

Tao is a well-done recorded album. There aren't any real familar songs here, but it does rock a bit harder than the well-known songs Springfield had recorded earlier in 1981-1982. The musical styles are compared to the likes of Duran Duran, John Waite (whether it be solo, or with the groups The Babys and/or Bad English), Night Ranger, and Sammy Hagar (who wrote "I've Done Everything For You.")

Be aware of one thing: There are 10 songs listed on this album. The CD features 11 tracks. Track three is a very short 31-second instrumental, having a special effects voice repeating, "Who's There?" It seems that this is NOT an ending to "Celebrate Youth", or a beginning to "State Of The Heart". (Is this a bonus track? If it is, we'll call it "Who's There".)

For those who enjoy the music of the mid-1980s, and/or fans of Rick Springfield, Tao is a good choice.

Rating: B

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