Musician - 5/91
"...His voice is soft and understated, his solos lean and tasteful; all told, Lofgren is so unassuming that it's easy to underestimate his strengths. Don't. On top of solid songs, this album conveys an intimacy rarely found in big-time rock'n'roll..."
Over the years, Nils Lofgren's solo output has been inconsistent and erratic; you never know if a Lofgren album will be excellent, decent, competent, mediocre, or flat-out disappointing. But when Lofgren is inspired, he's definitely inspired -- and one of his more inspired albums is 1991's Silver Lining. 1991 was the year in which Lofgren turned 40, and it was also the year in which he resumed his solo career after spending six years as a sideman for Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen. While Lofgren has provided his share of uneven albums, Silver Lining is impressively solid and consistent. The singer/guitarist (who wrote all ten of the songs on this CD) soars on everything from tough, gritty rockers like "Walkin' Nerve" and "Gun and Run" to the sentimental "Valentine," which employs Springsteen on background vocals. And the Boss isn't the only distinguished guest who joins Lofgren on Silver Lining; other guests include Billy Preston (of "Nothing From Nothing" and "Will It Go Round in Circles" fame) on organ and keyboards and ex-Beatle Ringo Starr on drums and background vocals. Although Lofgren is a rocker first and foremost, he is hardly oblivious to soul music and the blues. "Trouble's Back" is especially bluesy, and "Bein' Angry" is greatly influenced by '60s and early '70s soul. The latter is among the tunes that employ Preston, and his organ playing proves to be a major asset. Like Tina Turner, Prince, and Sly Stone, Preston is an artist who has both rock and R&B credentials -- and because Lofgren is obviously going for a rock/soul ambience on "Bein' Angry," Preston is perfect for the tune. Never the least bit disappointing, Silver Lining is an album that Lofgren can easily be proud of. ~ Alex Henderson