Personnel: Colin Cameron , Bradley Vines, Corky Siegel , John Batdorf, Scott Breadman, Mark Rodney, Ken Lyon, Lisa Turner.
Recording information: Beechwood Recording Studio, Woodland Hills, CA.
James Lee Stanley is known primarily for his duo work with Peter Tork in the '90s (and beyond) and a spate of RCA solo albums in the early '70s. At a lower profile, he has also had a prolific run of solo albums on Beachwood since the early '80s. Stanley's music is heavily acoustic on The Eternal Contradiction; it is a sort of jazzy folk-rock lite with Stanley's resonant, Richie Havens-like singing atop it. This album has a chance to score well with some in the elder baby-boomer set, but doesn't have much of a chance beyond the "grey ghetto" of yuppie bohemianism. There is a hyper-sentimental, nearly saccharine slant to a lot of the expression here that, while appealing to a specific market, will be prohibitive to most. (An illustrative Stanley refrain, from the song "Change": "What will it take for you and me to follow the path/And find the key to live here in peace eternally.") "The Street Where Mercy Died" has a Gordon Lightfoot vibe to it, while the slinky, bluesy "Nothing to Keep You on My Mind" has a more limber feel that casts Stanley in a much more appealing, rootsy vein. Despite its acoustic format, the song has a strong, edgy drive that makes it a standout and highlight here. "This Fleeting Moment" returns Stanley to the plaintive, clich‚d land of sentimentality. Nevertheless, this is a skillfully played and arranged album. ~ Erik Hage