Various Artists, Balearic Soft Rock

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 07.26.12 in Reviews

Balearic Soft Rock

Various Artists

Much of what’s here isn’t exactly soft: Would someone tell that guitarist in the Little River Band’s otherwise lovely opus “It’s a Long Way There” to just knock it off already? But there are mellow cuts from typically more anxious acts (Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music, Billy Idol, Kevin Ayers), funkiness from the otherwise folky (Julie Felix), a ridiculously catchy ditty from Shakespearian actor Brian Protheroe (“Pinball”), the Waterboys’ horn-blasting hit (“The Whole of the Moon”), and striking sensual balladry from the usually corny (Bobby Goldsboro). As usual, Scandinavians generate the most alien cuts: The voice of Woody in the Swedish edition of Toy Story, Blue Swede leader Björn Skifs steals the show with his jazzy translation of Carole King’s classic “It’s Too Late.”