I think Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades are one of the better vocal tandems in rock music today. I have enjoyed their music with Damn Yankees and their solo material, as well as their work in Night Ranger and Styx. With this in mind, I expected to like their new covers disc Influence, but I am honestly having trouble getting into it.
Even on paper, this sounds like a bad idea. 80’s rock stars sing covers of 60’s and 70’s hits in 2007. In my best Bill the cat voice, I can only say “ACK!“.
I have spun this disc a few times, but I must admit that this does not mix well with the music I have been listening to as of late. It lacks that harder edge that I need from music purchases today.
I will admit that Tommy and Jack have probably improved upon most of these songs, but I was hoping for a little more rock and a little less of soft rock feel. Basically, these are faithul renditions of the original versions, not the souped up rockers I was hoping for.
Quite frankly, this disc may be a bit too sugary sweet for my tastes. I like syrup on my pancakes and waffles, but not in my music. Tommy and Jack are two of the coolest guys in rock, and I really don’t want to insult either of those guys. Without saying any more, this disc was not for me, but may appeal to those that don’t like their rock with a harder edge.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts, 1972)
2. Time Of The Season (The Zombies, 1968)
3. Your Move (Yes, 1971)
4. I Am A Rock (Simon & Garfunkel, 1966)
5. Lucky Man (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, 1970)
6. The Sound Of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel, 1964)
7. California Dreamin’ (The Mamas & The Papas, 1963)
8. On A Carousel (The Hollies, 1965)
9. Dirty Work (Steely Dan, 1972)
10. For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield, 1967)
11. Dance With Me (Orleans, 1975)