Dan Fogelberg

Full Moon/Epic, 1987


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert



You don’t know me, but I’m a big fan. While we’re going to miss you here on the mortal plane, I just wanted to congratulate you on your ascension to Musical Valhalla. Have fun hanging out with George, Gram, Billie, and the rest of the regular residents. (And don’t let Wolfgang get you to play Texas Hold’Em. Dude is a SHARK ever since he started watching cable TV.)

Interesting though it may be, you may eventually get tired of swapping tall tales with Harry Chapin and Woody Guthrie and start considering your afterlife career options. If I can be so bold (still being alive and all), I really recommend you look at apprenticing on as a muse, guiding mortals to greater artistic genius. (That’s small-m muse. Large-M Muses are still the nine hot chicks in togas. Say hi to Thalia for me -- she’s an old friend.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

However, when you put in your musing application, they will ask you for what you feel is the best representation of your body of work. And I just want to give you some advice: hand them The Innocent Age, Nether Lands, The Wild Places -- in short, anything but Exiles.

Remember Exiles? After your divorce, your drummer said, “Whatever you do, don’t go make the ultimate divorce album.” Well, you didn’t do that, because honestly, the ultimate divorce album would still be...well, guy, I’m trying to be nice here, but the word that comes to mind is “listenable.” Exiles isn’t. Listening to it is like watching someone tear their heart out in slow motion; messy, painful, and not likely something you want to repeat.

There are some good points to this album. You rocked out a little more and on the couple of tracks that do work well, it’s because you kicked out the jams and had fun. “She Don’t Look Back” -- great song. Your cover of Stephen Stills’ “It Doesn’t Matter”? Also highly worthwhile. But most of the material here is considerably more maudlin than that and after a while it all starts sounding the same. The only ballad that works on Exiles at all is “Seeing You Again,” and even at that the naked pathos can make me wince at times.  Add to that a misguided effort throughout the CD to make you sound like Born In The USA-era Springsteen - the sax on the title track sounds like a band geek two-thirds of the way through a “Play Like Clarence Clemons” DVD -- and Exiles is easily the worst thing you ever did musically.

Dan, you have a lot to be proud of, and you touched my life in so many ways. I’m gonna miss you even though I know you’re pain-free and having the time of your afterlife now. Everybody has one huge miscue; Exiles was yours. It happens. Good luck with the musing thing, and say hi to Gary Gygax if he drops in.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Full Moon/Epic, and is used for informational purposes only.