CD Review: Soft Rock Gold

Various Artists
Soft Rock Gold
By David Chiu

Soft rock is for those who like their music not so abrasive and yet not too mellow. No wonder that you hear this often in dentist offices, supermarkets or malls since that type of music is inescapabale. It then seems appropriate for Elton John to open this 2-CD mix with “Daniel,” since his body of work birthed the style. The ‘70s was the fertile ground for many acts that delivered this smooth rock: Player (“Baby Come Back”), Ambrosia (“Biggest Part of Me”), Seals and Crofts (“Summer Breeze”), Atlanta Rhythm Section (the jazzy “So Into You”), and Dan Fogelberg (“Longer”), as well as those from the singer/songwriter genre (Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut is the Deepest,” Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”). Thankfully a few underrated gems make their presence known such as 10cc’s bouncy “The Things We Do For Love” and the doo-wop of Walter Egan’s “Magnet and Steel.” The set is not entirely ‘70s as it does contain some recent fare from the likes of Joan Osborne and Extreme. Love it or hate it, soft rock, as in the case of this sampler, is a guilty pleasure.

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