"Jackson Browne released this album to critical raves, but it was only a portent of things to come. "For Everyman", "Late For The Sky" and "The Pretender" (all of which, especially "Sky" are classics) were to follow over the next few years. This self - titled release (still referred to by some as "Saturate Before Using") showcased the young singer - songwriter's keen ability to draw the listener into his world.Although Browne was only in his early 20's when this album was released, the substance and style of his writing were those of a person twice his age, an interesting mix of youthful curiosity and worldly wisdom. "Song For Adam" is a moving tribute to a fallen friend and the singer's attempt to deal with the loss: "I sit before my only candle, but it's so little light to find my way." "Doctor My Eyes" is perhaps Browne's best - known song. It shouldn't be dismissed merely because it happened to become popular and has a catchy tune. The arrangement is excellent and the lyrics poignant, a prime example of a song that has held up well over time. For what it's worth, "Looking Into You" is my personal favorite of this ten - song collection. It is a tale of a young, yet weary vagabond on a journey of self - realization, a theme Browne would revisit many times on subsequent albums, most notably on the songs "Farther On" and "The Pretender." "The roads were as many as the places I had dreamed of, and my friends and I were one." The imagery expressed in Browne's poetic lyrics are familiar to all who have reached a point where everything, yet nothing, with the exception of love, makes sense. "I looked into the sky for my anthem, and the words and the music came through. But words and music could never touch the beauty that I've seen looking into you."Jackson Browne set an incredibly high standard for himself, and for his contemporaries, with the release of this album. Amazingly, he was able to match and even exceed this standard in the years to follow. Virtually no one else even came close."
Jackson Browne's Terrific Debut Album!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 03/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What do you say about an album you've had to replace twice on vinyl before finally scoring a hit on a CD that is still with you? That this is likely the single best debut album of the late sixties-seventies singer/songwriter genre with the possible exception of James Taylor? That the song cycle, singing, and instrumentation here is what still distinguishes Browne as a singular singer/songwriter/artist from all the others? That you still smile every time you hear the last few lines of "Looking Into You"? This album introduces Jackson Browne and his world of self-examination, endless speculation, and dreamy ruminations about the world at large according to Jackson as he sees it. And of course, he sees it with remarkable aplomb, set to beautiful lyrics and intricate melodies, through a palpable prism of the experience of both love and pain. This best-selling album will sail on forever. From "Jamaica Say You Will" to Child In These Hills", from the haunting "Song For Adam" to the bouncy rocker "Doctor My Eyes", this is a terrific set of songs presented in a lovely and memorable way, as only Browne could. From "something Fine" to all the rest of the wonderfully intimate, strikingly autobiographical, personal, and evocative songs he introduced to the waiting world with this album, this is one everyone should have in their CD collection. It is, as Browne himself might say, a cleverly innocent Technicolor snapshot picture taken on clear, cool Southern California night, after a day in the truth and light of the desert. It is a faithful, memorable, and absolutely artistic reproduction of a moment in contemporary culture made by someone who has built a whole musical career by being the ultimate self-acknowledged dreamer and world-watcher. Spin it and enjoy. I still do."
ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATS
Barron Laycock | 06/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anybody who doesn't think there is poetry in pop music is either bigoted or doesn't listen very well. The best work of people like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Jackson Browne conjure up the sort of images and emotions that songwriters never had before. No moon/June nonsense here. The young (23 at the time of this album's release) Jackson Browne was a heartbreakingly worldly man, who had come to terms with the suicide of a friend ("Song For Adam"), the quest for spirituality in the waning years of the hippie movement ("Rock Me On the Water") love and loss ("My Opening Farewell", "Jamaica Say You Will"), and apocalyptic visions ("From Silverlake"). He also knew how to rock ("Doctor My Eyes"). David Crosby's sensitive, non-obtrusive production lends just the right setting to these beautiful, timeless songs. Simply a magnificent record."
Jackson Browne's first and still most endearing album.
Barron Laycock | 12/02/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A very young man at the time of this recording Jackson Browne's first album became the most critically acclaimed debut album of the year, and for good reason. "Jamaica Say You Will" is one of those songs that takes you to a different time and place every time you hear it, "Doctor My Eyes" still rocks, while "My Opening Farewell" is a beautiful and ironic closing to an album that should stimulate anyone intellectually and emotionally. Listen to this album and you'll see why Jackson Browne is considered the most accomplished singer/songwriter of the 70s."
jeff @ 44 | north carolina | 03/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"i remember having a 45 of "dr. my eyes" @ 12 yrs old.this song & album is of great sentimental value to me. i feel many age groups can apply this song in some way to their current lives. "under a fallen sky" is fantastic (check out bonnie raits version). i'm envious of his ability to place his thoughts onto paper & apply music. his critics are too harsh & in the dark. buy this album, "late for the sky", "running on empty" & enjoy. then buy a few more. you'll know which ones."