Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bob Welch - Three Hearts 1979

After the platinum success of 1977's French Kiss, Fleetwood Mac alumnus Bob Welch obviously decided there was no need to alter the formula for 1979's Three Hearts. The album was another slick, smartly crafted slice of late-'70s pop/rock, yet it only went gold. Welch blends richly distorted hard-rock guitar hooks, disco-influenced strings, and bright vocal melodies on Three Hearts, which includes guest appearances by Fleetwood Mac members Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and Stevie Nicks. The vibrant, insanely catchy "Precious Love" was the album's only Top 40 hit single; the prominent strings and bouncy chorus fuel this gem. "Church," a minor hit, features warm keyboards and smooth vocals. "The Ghost of Flight 401" deviates the most from the pop/rock blueprint, and its sparse acoustic guitar and piano lines add a dark, mysterious feel. "Devil Wind" peaks with a driving rhythm in the coda that also highlights Nicks on backing vocals. Other decent cuts include the buoyant pop tune "Little Star," "Oh Jenny," and "China." The only misfires are two covers: a quirky, pseudo-funk version of the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" and a fairly straightforward rendering of the Fleetwoods' "Come Softly to Me." AMG.

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