Monday, April 4, 2016

Flo & Eddie - 1976 - Moving Targets

Flo & Eddie 
Moving Targets

01. Mama, Open Up
02. The Love You Gave Away
03. Hot
04. Best Friends
05. Best Possible Me
06. Keep It Warm
07. Guns
08. Elenore
09. Sway When You Walk
10. Moving Targets

Howard Kaylan - vocals
Mark Volman - vocals, guitars
Phil Reed - lead guitar
Andy Cahan - keyboards
Erik Scott - bass
Craig Krampf - drums

Additional personnel
Donnie Dacus - slide guitar on "Hot"
Jeff Baxter - slide guitar on "Hot"
Graeme "Shirley" Strachan - chorus vocals on "Guns" (Skyhooks)
Ian Underwood - saxophone on "Moving Targets"
Alan MacMillan - strings and horns arranged/conducted

For their final (of two) projects for Columbia Records in the mid-'70s, Mark Volman (Flo) (vocals/guitar) and Howard Kaylan (Eddie) (vocals) serve up a mixed bag of rockers as only Flo & Eddie can. With the exception of the Turtles' "Elenore" and "Guns" -- the latter of which features a shared credit with former Turtles' and Mother of Invention bandmate Jim Pons -- the remainder of Moving Targets (1976) was written entirely by the pair. While their lyrics might come off as cynical (read: realistic) or whiney to some, they counteract the typical pop/rock fare by presenting the listener with an undeniably fresh vantage point. The (perhaps) semi-biographical "Mama, Open Up" seems to be a psychological profile of its authors disguised as a typical '70s power ballad. Sounding like a combination of Chicago and Todd Rundgren, Alan MacMillan's horn-fuelled arrangement on "The Love You Gave Away" -- not to mention Flo & Eddie's impeccable harmonies -- almost disguise the odd spin on a love triangle. Marked by a bright jangle guitar introduction and strong dual-lead vocals, "Hot" stands out as a return to a feel that recalls earlier Flo & Eddie material. MacMillan's brass score provides some punch to "Best Friends." The compact and catchy tune lives up to its parenthetical moniker that indicates it as a "theme to the unsold T.V. pilot." "Best Possible Me" is truly exceptional, equaling anything in the Flo & Eddie cannon. MacMillan earns his keep as the orchestration underscores the powerful melody. In a very different way, the same can be said of the tongue-in-cheek "Keep It Warm" as they mull over their life and future as singer/songwriters. "Guns" is an upbeat rocker with the occasional anti-war sentiments, while the new recording of "Elenore" is taken at a noticeably quicker pace that reflects the way Flo & Eddie were concurrently performing the song in their live shows. "Make Your Own Kind of Music" meets "Add Some Music to Your Day" on "Sway When You Walk" as the highly recommended entry not only brims with positivity, it taps into the duo's silly and cerebral sides as well. Bucking the norm of placing the title track at the beginning of the disc, "Moving Targets" can be found at the conclusion of the platter. The mid-'70s proto-heavy metal vibe bears an Alice Cooper or Kiss influence, contrasting the rest of the effort in its relative straightforward approach.

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