Twin Sons Of Different Mothers

Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg

Full Moon Records, 1978

http://www.danfogelberg.com

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/11/2008

Dan Fogelberg had found himself a nice niche in that soft rock space occupied by the likes of The Eagles and Jackson Browne. This was fertile soil in the 70s and he farmed it well, his folksy style of soft rock earning him a couple of decent hits and good album sales. Fogelberg had become well-known as talented singer/songwriter and as an artist that was able to bring many diverse influences into his music.

On his fifth studio album, Folgelberg teams up with jazz flautist Tim Weisberg. The duo manage to meld their distinct styles with some degree of fluidity, but the album as a whole has more misses than hits. Fogelberg can rock when he wants to and has a gift for a catchy melody. He just doesn't seem to find the spark to lift these songs up above mediocre in most cases, and even for a mellow guy like Dan, the album is a little too laid back for me.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Those hoping for a clean mesh will only find it on a couple of songs. The four instrumental tracks that open the album take the best stab at it but still fall short of being anything I could sink my teeth into. “Twins Theme” is a generic throwaway with no district character. The second track “Intimidation” does much better, and Weisberg's flute sounds straight out of a smoky beat-era jazz club. A snaky Latin beat accents the arrangement nicely, and it's the most satisfying of the instrumental tracks on the album. The main beef I have with these instrumental tracks is that they didn't age well. Some of the instrumentals, particularly “Lahaina Luna” and “Paris Nocturne” are basically muzak. The “jazz” pieces largely just aren't jazzy enough.

The album kicks into gear more strongly about halfway through with the first vocal track “Tell Me To My Face.” Fans of the band Love will hear echoes of “Alone Again Or” in the flamenco tinged guitar. This songs stands out largely because it's classic Fogelberg and sounds like what I was expecting.

The final song on the album would become a Top 20 hit. “Power Of Gold” is an excellent track and the highlight of the disc. An up-tempo rocker about the evils of greed, the vocals and arrangement are among the best of Dan's career.  I'd like to say this track makes the whole thing worthwhile, but it doesn't.  Along with “Tell Me To My Face,” these two songs are the best of the album, but they are also very telling as to why it didn't work for me. These are pretty classic Folgelberg and don't necessarily stretch from what he typically does. Which is good, I like what he typically does. These two tracks work for me, the “jazz” compositions didn't. “Power Of Gold” is, however, a great song and it's available on multiple “Best Of” compilations. But unless you really dig middle of the road soft jazz, I can't recommend Sons.

Rating: C

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© 2008 Bruce Rusk and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Full Moon Records, and is used for informational purposes only.