RS #450: Jackson Browne, For Everyman

Jackson Browne, For Everyman
This seems like the ne plus ultra of ’70s soft-rock album covers.


Jackson Browne, For Everyman

Release Date: 1974
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes

Impressions: Oh, here we go… Jackson Browne: another regular-guy ’70s singer/songwriter that seems to over-populate this list. Luckily, his distinct hair insures I don’t get him mixed up with some of the other sensitive performer types. Browne always seemed a little wan to me, but let’s put the album on and give it a shot… I didn’t know he co-wrote “Take It Easy” with Glenn Frey. Strange that he opened with this track, since it was already a hit for the Eagles two years prior, but it works somehow. It’s a catchy version of the song that’s not much different than the original, but I prefer for some reason. I also really dig the way it neatly crossfades  into the excellent “Our Lady of The Well.” I don’t know if this restrained, tasteful acoustic guitar-driven style will ever be my favorite, but this album is nicely played (especially the contributions of multi-instrumentalist David Lindley and a boatload of guest stars,) crisply produced and even with a few cutting sentiments amongst the ponderous numbers. Some of these songs seemed to really capture the time period well like the driving “Red Neck Friend” (with Elton John on piano) or “These Days” is a supremely melancholy song that just really gets to my inner navel-gazer for some reason, even though it’s been covered a million times. And then to come full circle, “Sing My Songs To Me” seques into the closer “For Everyman.” Nice work. I’m surprised, this kind of So-Cal Seventies Soft-Rock Stuff usually fails to register with me, but this time Jackson Browne did alright, or at least caught me on the right day. (Salutes.)

Starred Songs: “Take It Easy,” “These Days”
Sneaky Track: “Our Lady of The Well”
Should this album be on the list? Yes
Will you listen to this again? Yes.

Verdict: More mellow-seeming ’70s singer/songwriter acoustic guitar driven tunes, saved by being well-played and sharply written.
Rating:  ★★★★