At the top of their form.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This l989 reunion album shows why the Airplane was the Airplane. Here you've got five virtuoso musicians, all except Jack Casady also being virtuoso songwriters. Unlike other rock reunion CDs, these guys don't fall back on rehashing their old hits. No White Rabbit here. Instead, Gracie gives us Freedom; the diva is at the top of her form, and Jorma's flamenco-tinged rock lead showcases the master in action. Kantner and Balin wrote Madelaine Street together, after not having written together for eons. It's brilliant. So is the whole album. (Beware of a same-titled CD, tho, that is not their '89 reunion album). Especially outstanding: Paul's Planes, and Marty's Summer of Love."
Reunion album for die-hard fans only
S. H. Wettlaufer | Detroit | 01/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I just pulled this tape out of a storage box and got another listen recently. This recording brings in the original lineup for one last hoorah, although Spencer Dryden is conspicously missing. Hmmmmm? Grace Slick once said that to get back together for nostalgia's sake is a waste of time. Well, I agree. This band has put out a lot of better music. That said, I do think that many of these songs are worth the price of admission. Kantner's The Wheel & Madeleine Street are certainly as good as his later J. Starship stuff (I wondered where he had been hiding out) and Balin's Summer Of Love was the one radio release and comes off better than most of his J. Starship work. Slick and Kaukonen seem to be the most nostalgic with songs that utilize the entire band but don't seem to move them forward musically. Kaukonen's Ice Age sounds like it was written for Hot Tuna. Unfortunately there are several throw-away songs here: Planes, Panda, Upfront Blues, Now Is The Time. All in all not a good reunion album when compared to the likes of The Byrds, but I still enjoyed it."