Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ian Lloyd & Stories|
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
Excellent, if a bit surprisingly so.
David Goodwin | Westchester, NY United States | 12/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mike Brown, the heralded songwriter from the Left Banke, is perhaps music's biggest "giveth, then taketh away" token; bands he joins occasionally last only one album, and those that last more rarely keep his membership very long. Thus, Stories, a band that utilized Mr. Brown's services for their first two albums, finally found themselves abandoned. And just like the Left Banke--who were left in a similar lurch--Stories manages to fill in the gap alarmingly well.Why alarmingly? Well, except for Changes Have Begun on About Us, there wasn't any real hint that the band could write solid songs on their own. Thankfully, again much like the Left Banke, Lloyd, Love, and the other members *can*, and do; the album is slightly more "progressive" than About Us (fewer songs, same running time..^_^) but most of the tunes still rely heavily on keyboard, still sound like Stories, and hold together tremendously well; this does not sound like a band that had recently recycled members!Fortunately, Traveling Underground does not find Stories milking the success of Brother Louie, their incredibly-uncharacteristic hit from About Us....well, much, that is. If It Feels Good, Do It is a nice compromise, but Mammy Blue is an embarassing rewrite Louie; I guess they felt that some sort of recognition of their hit was in order. Kudos for not bowing into the temptation to do an entire album in that style!All in all, it's Brown-less, but still excellent. If you liked the other Stories albums--or enjoy thoughtful, tuneful, semi-progressive rock with little bombast--this one's for you."
Better the second time around
Fredric A. Cooper | Torrance, CA United States | 11/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a big fan of musical wunderkid Michael Brown's first band The Left Banke, I also gravitated to his early '70s aggregation, Stories. The first Stories LP was pleasant enough, but its followup, "About Us", is truly one of the essential works now known as "power pop". So when Michael Brown abandoned Stories prior to their recording of "Brother Louie" (a smash #1 hit), speculation arose as to whether the band could survive without him. But survive they did, by adding a new keyboard player, Ken Bichel, and bassist Kenny Aaronson, for live shows and the recording of this, the 3rd and unfortunately last Stories outing. I recall being disappointed over this LP back in the day (late 1973), but hearing it again 30 years later I now know how wrong I was to dismiss it. Sure, there aren't many immediately catchy tunes as on "About Us", but that is beside the point. The group creates a unique atmosphere on "Traveling Underground" which holds the attention even if the tunes don't. The singles "Mammy Blue" and "If It Feels Good, Do It" are OK, but the remainder of the LP is what really counts. Slightly progressive, a bit like The Left Banke here and there, and some "power pop" too. Nothing here grabs the attention like "Hey France" or "Please Please" from the previous LP, but you will find yourself listening to this several times and discover that it does grow on you. I'm glad I revisited this gem. I found it quite inviting."