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Location: Anaheim, California, United States

Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Rick Springfield: Rock of Life

Vintage Album Review:  Rick Springfield, Rock of Life (1988)

On Rock of Life, Rick Springfield is caught in the midstream of his constantly evolving musical style and career.  If we may make superstar comparisons, he seems to be moving out of Springsteen's guitar-rock shadow and into a more sophisticated mainstream level of appeal--more along the lines of Phil Collins or Elton John, but with guitar instead of piano.  However, stretching into this new transition brings pain, and the result is a good fan-satisfying album, but not anything A-list.  Springfield's career, in fact, could be seen as having been a constant search to reach that A-list of rock stars but never quite shaking the soap-star teen-idol label.  Here he falls just a bit short of pulling off that career transition--as he has before.  The music here is too obviously the result of hard work.  It tries too hard to be more than it is.  Springfield approaches the lyrics and vocals dramatically, like the actor he is.  However, the arrangements are overdone and the themes drag on too long.  Each individual track is decent, but Springfield must demand more than decent if he wants to move to a new and more serious career phase.  He's obviously learning some lessons with the songs on this album, so let's hope he applies them next time.

Springfield on the Web:  rickspringfield.com and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Springfield
This album has its own Wikipedia entry:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_of_Life

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