Today’s random album comes to us courtesy of 1970’s Britain blues-rock. We’re talking about Foghat with their third album Energized. The album was released in 1974 and eventually went Gold, but does not contain any of the songs casual listeners would be familiar with (i.e. “Slow Ride”). Me: I’m a casual listener that hates that song, so I approached this record with a pocketful of optimism.
The first thing I started noticing about Energized is that the vocals sounded weak. I’m not talking about the performance, but rather they were ‘distant and low’. I’m not sure if this was due to wear on my album or just the way it was mixed. I’m not going to pursue it too much as it wasn’t detrimental to the overall sound. It was just more of a curiosity than anything.
Foghat, as I gathered from this album, is strictly no-nonsense rock. Maybe they incorporate a little R&B into the mix, perhaps also a little rockibilly (as evidenced by their cover of Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day”) and even trace disco elements – but it’s still straight rock and roll from first track to last. No ballads, no experimentation, no deep lyrics. There’s not a damn thing wrong with that. Sometimes you have to cut through the bullshit and just get down to what you do best, which Foghat does in this record.
The album contains eight tracks (“Honey Hush”, “Step Outside”, “Golden Arrow”, “Home in My Hand”, “Wild Cherry”, “That’ll Be The Day”, “Fly By Night” and “Nothing I Won’t Do”). While possibly entertaining and energizing with a mug of beer and a pool cue in my hand, sitting in my room with headphones, the music didn’t beguile me half-as-much. I literally have no special notes for any of the songs; nothing hit me while listening.
Not to take away anything from ‘Lonesome’ Dave Peverett, Rod Price, Roger Earl or Tony Stevens. They sound great and I can’t think of more talented musicians. But I don’t know, maybe I’m not all that keen on Foghat in general. Maybe I need a second listen. I’ll revisit them another day.
Oh, and if were to be keeping score, they would have lost points for the track listing on the back cover being unrelated to the actual order of songs, just like that goofy Rod Stewart album that I accidentally enjoyed last Friday.