Friday, January 8, 2016

Nicolette Larson - Radioland

This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Radioland, the third studio album from Nicolette Larson. It spent twelve weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, reaching a peak spot of number 62.

Side one begins with the title track and the third single. "Radioland" has a post-disco dance groove to it and reminds me of my teenaged years of listening to top 40 radio in my darkened bedroom with the headphones on. This track would have been perfect for that.

Even though the debut single "Ooo-Eee" featured backing vocals by Linda Ronstadt, the laidback love song stalled out at number 110 on the US Billboard Hot 200.

The B-side to the second single and third singles was "How Can We Go On", a song that questions where a relationship is heading. For a B-side, it is pretty solid and likely might have fared better as an A-side.

"When You Come Around", the second single, has an underlying melody that reminds me quite a bit of Robbie Dupree's "Steal Away" from the year before.

Side two opens with "Tears, Tears and More Tears". I like how the opening piano leads right into the guitars and drums. In my opinion, this one too might have made a better single rather than be left for a deep cut.

"Straight From the Heart" was the B-side to the first single. The re-occurring main hook reminds me a bit of Kim Carnes' "More Love", also from the year before.

The popping "Been Gone Too Long" is up next. Here Larson is channeling her inner Rickie Lee Jones with a song that sounds like it would have easily fit into the latter's late 1970's catalog.

"Fool For Love" changes it up a bit with a more rocking guitar groove. Larson's vocal are a bit more gritty here, showing she could adapt as the song required.

The album closes with "Long Distance Love", a yearning ballad of unrequited loved. The organ keyboards here really add to the overall tone of the piece.

I picked up a copy of Radioland digitally back in 2012 and have listened to it all the way through about a half a dozen times since. It falls right into the category of the type of pop music I listened to a lot back in 1981 when I was still in high school.

For more from Nicolette Larson, click here.

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