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New Music Review: GRAND FUNK RAILROAD “Shinin’ On”

Grand Funk Railroad is Don Brewer, Mark Farner, Mel Schacher and Craig Frost

TRACKS

Shinin’ On
To Get Back In
The Loco-Motion
Carry Me Through
Please Me
Mr. Pretty Boy
Gettin’ Over You
Little Johnny Hooker

Produced by Todd Rundgren

Review-How do you follow up your biggest success? Grand Funk Railroad had that issue after, “ We’re An American Band” was released. They saw the first collaboration with Todd Rundgren as such a positive, that they retained him again for the follow up. Which I felt was a positive and a negative for this band. This record has so much of Rundgren all over it. This felt like the record Todd wanted more than what the band wanted. While you have songs like their cover of “ The Loco-Motion” and original songs like “Please Me” and “Getting Over You” that are classics. It just seems that this album lacks passion. The production is so heavy sounding, that you feel the band wanted to do a progression but they were not so sure about where this progression was going. To compare this to “ We’re An American Band” is like comparing “ Chinese Democracy” to “ Appetite for Destruction”.

The songs on this cd are tight and showcase a band that loves to play. It just seems that the band was unfocused at times and unmotivated at others. This album needed catchy and infectious hooks. It has so much experimentation that I feel that Todd was trying to sell the band that this was the future. Their title track comes across as this spacy acid inspired rocker that has great vocal harmonies, but it lacks the catchiness that you want from this band. Their cover of “ The Loco-Motion” turns the dance classic on its ass. The guitar from Mark Farner sells this track more than anything else. Songs like “ Mr Pretty Boy” and “ To Get Back In”, sound like what you would expect from a Todd solo record more than this band.

This is an album for fans more than anyone else. If you are a fan of the band, this album is good enough to keep you happy. I have the vinyl to this album. I am a major Grand Funk Railroad fan. As a fan, I am easy to attack Todd for wanting to get the band in a more progressive direction. I am more easy to attack Jimmy Ienner and what he did with the band after. Jimmy Ienner is also responsible for “ Dirty Dancing”. Back on track. Grand Funk Railroad is a band that I feel should have been bigger. This album and “ We’re an American Band” is such a potent one two punch.

8 out of 10

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