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Captured Angel

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Album Review

Dan Fogelberg is a singer-songwriter in the confessional vein of Joni Mitchell; his work at this time was also heavily influenced by America, the Eagles, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash. His most successful work dates from the 1970s and early 1980s. Fogelberg's best songs are generally those that have a little muscle to them ("Phoenix") or manage to transcend his penchant for cliched, sentimental lyrics and maudlin arrangements to be genuinely affecting ("There's a Place in the World for a Gambler"). This album is one of the weakest in his canon. Selections like "Next Time" and the title track are bland and bloodless, marred further by pedestrian performances and easy-way-out arrangements and production. Other numbers like "Below the Surface" and "These Days" are better in this regard, but suffer from didactic lyrics. The album's weakest track, "Aspen," is an unengagingly syrupy, string-based instrumental with odd and ineffective chord changes. A few songs are worth hearing, though. "Comes and Goes" is a short, understated selection proving the adage "less is more." "Crow" is a decent, brooding song made very listenable by an appealingly intricate arrangement. And "The Last Nail" is one of his songs that manages to grab the emotions and be deeply affecting almost in spite of itself. Demerits also go for Fogelberg's inexpert cover painting of an unintentionally androgynous angel. Dedicated fans may enjoy this album, but others may not find it attractive.

Customer Reviews

A great Fogelberg album..

I don't know what the main writer's problem is with Dan Fogelberg, or this album in particular. Personally, I think even at his "worst," Dan Fogelberg is better than almost any songwriter of my generation, and on par if not better than most of his contemporaries. Put another way, there are no "bad" Fogelberg albums, just "good" ones and "great" ones. This album falls into the former category, but it truly has its moments. Listen to those gorgeous vocal harmonies on the excellent duo "Man in the Mirror/Below The Surface," in which Dan shows that he's not a slouch on guitar either. I see nothing wrong with the melody on "Aspen" and I have no clue what the writer was talking about. "Old Tennessee" is another great example of a great melding of vocal and instrumental melody. The writer did get one thing right, though - "The Last Nail" is a great achievement both in music and words. Another thing - Dan certainly knows the value of "less is more," true, but when he chooses to go for an epic vibe, there's always a reason; never have I found any of his songs to be too long or dull. In fact, some of his epics are among my favorite songs of his. I've been listening to the man for just about all of my 27 years, and I'll continue to do so for as long as he's around to make music. He is truly an artist of immeasurable talent, and he hasn't lost a thing over the years.

Well worth a listen

Wow. It's Dec 17, 2007 ... and Dan died yesterday, leaving a void for many of his fans. Growing up about a half hour from where Dan lived, and being just a few years younger, I followed his career pretty much from Home Free on ... until the multitude of "greatest hits" compilations started. His music was always much more than "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne”. For me, this was always one of my favorite Fogelberg albums, and while the critique in the main review area may have some valid points, analyzing a Dan Fogelberg song on a technical level is missing the point. You got to listen with your heart. "Aspen/These Days" is a great number to open an album with, and "Old Tennessee" and "The Last Nail" are moving. So long Dan. Your voice is really not silenced. All we have to do is click play.

Loved It

This is a great album. I've had it since the 70's and it holds up better than most of the stuff today. For just a mellow sit back and daydream evening this album hits a warm place in my heart.

Biography

Born: August 13, 1951 in Peoria, IL

Genre: Rock

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

If James Taylor epitomized the definition and the original, late-'60s incarnation of the term singer/songwriter, Dan Fogelberg exemplified the late-'70s equivalent of that term at its most highly developed and successful, with a string of platinum-selling albums and singles into the early '80s and a long career afterward, interrupted only by a health crisis that led to his untimely death in 2007. He came out of a musical family, born Daniel Grayling Fogelberg on August 13, 1951, in Peoria, IL, where...
Full Bio
Captured Angel, Dan Fogelberg
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