Like A Rock

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Capitol Records, 1986

http://www.bobseger.com

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/07/2016

When Bob Seger is good, he is very good; and when Bob Seger is bad, he is just average.

Like A Rock, issued in April of 1986, was Seger’s first studio album release since 1982’s The Distance. The ever increasing lag time between releases would not serve him well, as the overall quality of the albums was not as high. While this latest release contained several classic performances, there were also a number of filler songs. nbtc__dv_250

Bob Seger may have become a tad complacent or maybe just too secure. The music here marked a slight turn from the blue collar rock upon which his reputation had been built. The increased keyboards and synthesizer sound on some of the tracks was his way of adjusting to the music of the ‘80s.

The first three tracks are excellent. With its driving beat, “American Storm” is one of those rock anthems that he was so good at creating. At the time, “Like A Rock” was equally strong. But listening to this track today, I can’t help but think about that Chevrolet commercial, where a great song was used in a bad context. Meanwhile, “Miami” was Seger turning toward the soft rock direction that was becoming so popular at the time, anda moment that would foreshadow his future releases.

The final track, “Fortunate Son,” was not present on the vinyl edition but was a bonus track on the CD. It was also the flip side of the single release of “American Storm.” This cut was taken from a live 1983 performances and just crackles with sound and energy. Very few artists have been able to cover Creedence Clearwater Revival well, but this was just a great performance.

However, the rest of the album does not reach the heights of the four previously mentioned tracks. “The Ring” has excellent lyrics about marital problems that are lost in some average music. He tries on “Tightrope” and “The Aftermath,” but they do not quite take off. While “Somewhere Tonight” is enjoyable, “Sometimes” and “It’s You” are unimaginative and are just there to fill out the album.

There are a lot better albums in the Seger catalog. Like A Rock remains a hit-or-miss affair and is only memorable for about half the tracks.

Rating: B

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