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Kenny Loggins - High Adventure / Vox Humana

posted 31 Dec 2014, 13:54 by Paul Woodward

(BGO Records)

Review by Woody

Kenny Loggins is known to most of us as the king of the Eighties movie soundtrack. Regardless of your taste in music everyone knows his most famous songs like ‘Footloose’ and ‘Danger Zone’ but his other musical output may be more obscure to anyone who isn’t a devoted Loggins fan. Loggins has had a long and very eclectic musical output since the early seventies and here we have two of his solo albums ‘High Adventure’ and ‘Vox Humana’ re-mastered and released as a double CD set.

‘High Adventure’ was released in 1982 and has an typical commercial AOR sound you would associate with that era, the opening anthemic track ‘Don’t Fight It’ even features a co-write  and vocal contribution from AOR’s godfather - Journey’s Steve Perry.  The album contains some cool guitars mixed with infectious vocal melodies and broadly shows off similarities to famous AOR bands of the time like Toto and REO Speedwagon – but Loggins will occasionally throw in some pop touches here and there which make it a little more mainstream than your average AOR band. Fans of the early eighties AOR era should dig ‘High Adventure’ for its upbeat and anthemic nature. It feels like these songs were written with radio airplay in mind as tracks like ‘Swear Your Love’ and ‘If It’s Not What You’re Looking For’ scream radio hit gold! It’s not a classic but it is worthy of your time, it’s smooth and bright and makes for an enjoyable listen even if it doesn’t blow your mind.

Following ‘Footloose’ Loggins then released ‘Vox Humana’ which saw him move in a more direct pop direction with r’n’b leanings. It’s hard to believe he went straight from this to write the straight ahead guitar proud melodic rock of ‘Danger Zone’ the following year for the movie Top Gun. I really struggled with ‘Vox Humana’ even though I like a strong keyboard sound, but here there’s very little trace of AOR and you do really need to be a fan of stereotypical eighties American pop and r’n’b to really get what Loggins is doing here. There is only two songs of note to my ears and that is the radio friendly ‘No Lookin’ Back’ which has a great keyboard riff and catchy chorus which stands heads and shoulders above every other song on this album. The other is eighties style power pop ballad ‘Forever’ which even features some cracking guitars from Toto legend Steve Lukather but that is the only glimpse of AOR on the entire album and his guest appearance seems a little out of place given the overall sound of ‘Vox Humana’.

Track Listing: (High Adventure) Don’t Fight It / Heartlight / I Gotta Try / Swear Your Love / The More We Try / Heart To Heart / If It’s Not What You’re looking For / It Must Be Imagination / Only A Miracle

(Vox Humana) Vox Humana / No Lookin’ Back / Let There Be Love / I’ll Be There / I’m Gonna Do It Right / Forever / At Last / Loraine / Love Will Follow

Album Rating: 7/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Swear Your Love