“Trapped (By My Own Creation)” – the Frankenstein complex gone pop – opens Intention, the Fox Pass co-founder taking things to a different space – a big departure from his work with Steve Gilligan on 2007’s Everything Under The Sun, veering off into a Velvet’s Third direction and away from the powerful sound generated by Fox Pass. And therein occurs the dilemma for long-time Fox Pass fans, with the band tight and solid my preference would be for less gigging and more recording. Intention seems to cry out for the full band sound, the songs here like black and white sketches of what could be. Take “Fourth Time’s the Charm” for example, the pretty guitars beg for accompaniment. Perhaps the band can take these performances and go for that mystical 3rd Velvet Underground sound, the muted guitar, the jazz-band feel behind some of Lou Reed’s most introspective deliveries after the onslaught of “Sister Ray” the album before.
“As the Twig is Bent” could come to life with a slippery bass line and throbbing Moe Tucker boom boom sounds. The seven and a half minutes of “Jefferson County, Early November” seeming like a cross between Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 Nebraska and Bob Dylan’s The Great White Wonder bootleg, certainly parallel to the influences that Fox Pass draws from, but not fully finding the sparkle. “All These Ghosts” and “This is Just a Song” would both benefit from additional guitars, a Badfinger sound backing up the essayist to delight the audience that is drawn to this type of poetry put to music. The 5:37 of “Paris Street” seems like a man lamenting something but not quite sure of what’s absent in his life, the melancholy picked up quickly by the 3:46 of “Look Both Ways.” With Fox Pass taking one track here, maybe “Right in Front of Your Eyes” or “Look Both Ways”, and seeking a “hit single” (whatever that is in the 21st century), the message would get out to a wider audience. Spruced up and ready for radio is what some of these titles cry out for. The CD Baby site notes that the disc is “Veteran Boston songwriter/producer’s new solo album featuring philosophical folk rock minus the rock.”
This long-time listener wants the artist to put the rock back in.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.