Monday, April 05, 2010

Maintaining Balin-ce

After tumultuous years of turbulence and troubles within the ranks of Jefferson Airplane nee Starship, founding member Marty Balin, fed up with the strife, finally bailed out and took a solo flight in 1981, not to too much clamor nor applause, but moreover, a breath of fresh air and music.

Released in May, 1981, Balin's self-titled solo debut hit the ground running, punching a much-needed "hole" in the charts, with the maudlin midtempo ballad "Hearts." It's your typical post-breakup how-ya-doin' tune, weaving (not weeping) through the pratfalls of a failed romance in an upbeat manner, yet heartfelt nonetheless. Backed by some stellar session players such as keyboardist Neil Larsen and backup vocals from Bill Champlin, Balin bounces from sentient prose ("You Left Your Mark On Me") to lively semi-rockers ("Elvis And Marilyn") to promising effect.

Most noteworthy is "Atlanta Lady (Something About Your Love)," a song not written by Balin (penned by Jesse Barish) yet one of the set's most poignantly memorable, with Marty breathing in the Bay Area breeze, setting them all to words and music.
Methinks the album's closer, "Music Is The Light" says it the best..

You know music is the light
Shining through the night
Ain't funny how the feelin' goes away
Movin' right along
List'nin' to the song
Ridin' with my baby

Lighthearted yet enduring.


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