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Avalanche

Eric Andersen

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Album Review

Avalanche was Andersen's first album for Warner Bros. after a fairly long stint at Vanguard. It was consistent with his prior efforts in that, while it found him operating at a respectable level, it couldn't break him into the upper echelon of singer/songwriters, in terms of either sales or art. It's diverse and diffuse, qualities which neither work strongly for or against him on this particular effort. If he was worried about the constant new Dylan comparisons, he did himself no favors with the opening "It's Comin' and It Won't Be Long," a fair but derivative sounding Dylan-esque cut in both its composition and vocal phrasing. Yet, it's not typical of the record, which largely examines romantic ups and downs — a timeworn subject of popular music, true — in intelligent, reflective fashion that admits some humor, and goes into some good-time vaudevillian and country-rock music besides the expected folk-rock-influenced singer/songwriting. Major session dudes Chuck Rainey, Bruce Langhorne, J.D. Maness, Eric Gale, and Lee Crabtree were on hand to provide a professional yet reserved sound. He broached pop territory on "Think About It" and "So Hard to Fall," which really wouldn't have sounded bad on AM radio, female vocals and orchestration included. "(We Were) Foolish Like the Flowers" and the son-lost-to-war lament "For What Was Gained" were more in line with what listeners usually expected from Andersen: gentle, almost fragile, introspective mild folk-rock.

Biography

Born: 14 February 1943 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Eric Andersen has maintained a career as a folk-based singer/songwriter since the 1960s. In contrast to such peers as Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs, Andersen's writing has had a romantic/philosophical/poetic bent for the most part, rather than a socially conscious one, though one of his best-known songs, "Thirsty Boots," has as...
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Avalanche, Eric Andersen
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