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Headin' Home

Gary Wright

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Album Review

Like Peter Frampton's Breaking All the Rules, this is a solid album by "the Dreamweaver," former Spooky Tooth member Gary Wright. "I'm the One Who'll Be by Your Side" has a solid hook, but like the aforementioned Frampton disc, it breaks no new ground. "My dreams were shattered" he sings in "Follow Next to You," which is "Dreamweaver" redux, but not as much as "Moonbeams," which is an absolute sequel to "Dreamweaver" in melody and in sound. The album is a consistent clone of previous work with one exception: "Love Is Why," a melodic, together, perfect pop tune with simple, bouncy rhythms and keyboard providing a dancing Gary Wright lead solo. It is the brightest light on Headin' Home, which is quite entertaining despite the repetition. Transplanted from New Jersey to Great Britain, he sounds very much like Denny Laine on "Keep Love in Your Soul," not only vocally, but in the songwriting, if you strip away the heavy keyboards. "Love is alive within your back doors" he sings, referring to past work. The mystery of how radio and records hit or miss is inherent in this album, as Wright would reach the Top 20 in 1981, while this and albums that came before it were part of a Top 40 dry spell, a void spanning five years. Though not extraordinary, "Keep Love in Your Soul" is at least as good as "Love Is Alive" and would have been a nice addition to the airwaves in 1979. Rare acoustic guitars open "Love's Awake Inside," and it boasts a great chorus. Wright's voice is perfect on this outing, an album seemingly driven by a serious relationship in crisis. As Bobby Hebb poured his first divorce into the Epic album Lovegames, Wright makes it clear to his significant other "You Don't Own Me": "Give me room" he says, to "discover who I really am inside." The sentiment is quite different from Lesley Gore's hit of the same name, and the album appears to be an exploration of various themes of love. With David Crosby, Graham Nash, Hugh McCracken, Steve Lukather, Wright's sister Lorna Wright (a.k.a. Lorna Doone), Michael MacDonald, and so many others, this fine album should have had a good run on the charts. Maybe the problem is that Wright's production keeps his guests in the background. With a different producer, the same songs and performances could have possibly had much greater success — the magic is there, it just sounds too immersed in previous efforts. Nonetheless, Headin' Home has much merit, and for fans of Gary Wright, it is very enjoyable.

Biography

Born: 26 April 1943 in Creskill, NJ

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '90s, '00s

Most closely associated with his atmospheric 1976 smash "Dream Weaver," singer Gary Wright was born April 26, 1943 in Creskill, NJ; a former child actor who appeared on Broadway in a production of Fanny, he fronted a number of local rock bands during his high school years before turning his attention to psychology, completing his studies in Berlin at Frei University. In 1967, Wright's band, the New York Times, opened for Traffic, bringing him to the attention of Island Records honcho Chris Blackwell,...
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Headin' Home, Gary Wright
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