Monday, July 25, 2011

Let's Live For Today - The Grassroots

Let's Live For Today
The Grassroots
Dunhill DS 50020

I saw Rob Grill's obituary a couple of weeks ago (he's the guy in the striped shirt in the upper left hand corner in the picture above.)  He sang the lead vocals on most of the Grassroots' hit singles.  He died from a head injury he sustained in a fall.  I wasn't a fan, but I still mourn his passing, I have a sentimental attachment to a couple of his group's songs.  This was the group's second album although the group that recorded their debut album was a different group entirely.  The original band had a conflict with producer/songwriters Steve Barri and P. F. Sloan and quit.  Barri and Sloan recruited Grill, Warren Entner, Creed Bratton and Rick Coonce to be the new Grassroots and record this album.  It is an engaging album, mostly in a commercial folk-rock vein.  If you have "Golden Grass" you probably don't need it unless you are a big fan, four of the best songs on here are on that comp as well, namely "Things I Should Have Said." "Wake Up, Wake Up," "Let's Live For Today" and "Where Were You When I Needed You."  Aside from "Wake Up, Wake Up" they were all big hits and are my three favorite Grassroots songs.  I also like "Out of Touch" which has a nice surging chorus and a solid riff as well as "Tip Of My Tongue" which has a bit of a chamber pop feel in places.  The Barri/Sloan tunes are formulaic, but at least it is a nice formula.  They are all catchy with nice arrangements although the lyrics are pretty trite.   Most of the album is composed by Barri and Sloan, but the group contribute four numbers none of which depart much from the Barri/Sloan formula.  They are largely pleasant but undistingished, although I do like Entner and Bratton's "Beatin' Round The Bush" and Bratton's "House of Stone" both of which are sung by Entner.  The former is atmospheric folk-rock while the latter is more of a rocker with some nice stinging fuzz guitar, it is the only time I've ever heard these guys sound like a garage band.  I don't play this album often, but I enjoy it when I do.  It sounds nice on a sunny afternoon.  Recommended to fans of the Mamas and the Papas and the first two Turtles albums. 

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