If your father was a Grammy-winning musician who had numerous top ten hits, there would undoubtedly be a lot of pressure to produce similar results – if you chose to follow the same career path. Let's face it, so few of those who follow in their famous parents footsteps achieve legitimate success in their own right. I can give you a fairly lengthy list of those who never really achieved that elusive success, which would start with Kelly Osbourne's rather laughable attempt at pop success and end with the tragic tale of Julian Lennon – a truly talented man who had the great misfortune to both look and sound like his legendary father John (let's be kind and not mention Lisa-Marie Presley). A few have had success, Dweezil Zappa, Jakob Dylan, and Ziggy Marley among them. Why is success for the children of famous parents so elusive? The answer is fairly simple. Who takes a famous musician's child seriously at first glance?
However with music in your soul, in your blood, you have little choice but to follow in your family footsteps- not unlike a family of doctors, stockbrokers or police. Crosby Loggins – son of Kenny – faces this uphill battle, but luckily he is armed with considerable talent and vision all his own. And growing up around multi-talented artists like Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, and Glen Phillips has no doubt inspired him to create his own music.
Recently Crosby released his début album, We All Go Home, featuring the talents of fellow musicians and friends – many the sons of rock stars themselves – and sporting the name Crosby Loggins and the Light, together they created an album that is a testament to true talent. Filled with addictive melodies, harmonies, and ardent lyrics We All Go Home is a mix-up of musical genres, with flavours of jazz, funk, folk, rock and pop, catchy riffs, engaging melodies and earnest lyrics. Crosby is a warm, soulful singer-songwriter and this album reflects that. His vocals are smooth, honeyed and nearly flawless and his songwriting is perfectly tuned to his vocal style, powerfully emotive, passionate, with hints of nostalgia.
We All Go Home begins with “Good Enough”, a smooth pop-filtered song with the mixture of sounds and instruments that defines Crosby Loggins and the Light. When you have a group of musical prodigies gathered you take advantage of that, and Crosby did indeed use all the considerable skills of his percussionist/drummer, guitarist, and violinist.
On “Always Catching Up”, the second track, the mixture of electric and acoustic guitar and violin with piano creates a richly textured sound. The lyrics, co-written with sister Bella Loggins, are filled with powerful images of running out of time while searching for something, what that is we are never really told. This is a common theme throughout We All Go Home.
“Rock Into Sand” has a much more upbeat, piano-jazz feel to it, with an indie rock twist. More awe inspiring instrumentation, although as with the rest of the album, none ever takes over. There are no egos in Crosby Loggins and the Light. One of my favourite tracks, “Man in the Middle” is a more low-key, cool track heavily influenced by violin, mandolin and piano. However it still maintains a pop-rock feel. Lyrically, it's the tale of a man bailing out a girl, although unlike his father Crosby never tells a direct story, but rather implies it (very effectively too.)
Undoubtedly the most controversial track on We All Go Home is “March On, America”. It's a song with a strong military march feel, but without compromising its rock-roots. And it is just that, a rock song. And the electric guitar solo (one of very few on the entire album) is actually an electric violin. But it's the lyrics that many would find controversial, at a time in America where many believe the government's “you're either for us or against” line of bullshit. Crosby says it very well, “I've seen the subtle insanity, these politics are gonna be the end of humanity/ See what you do, illegal ain't illegal if its good enough for you…” and “You're a dissident lately, just to stand and demand the truth…” Ending the track with the very wise and poignant words “Disgraceful approach, listen to the words from the hypocrite’s throat/ cryin', 'Calling all patriots! Rally 'round Rome! World's on fire and we're goin' to war!'/ David, Goliath, cat, mouse/ How many will die before we figure this out!?” [Sic]
Other songs to listen for include, the indie rock flavoured “Here She Comes”, with its sweetly nostalgic lyrics and perfectly executed violin adding tears to the music. “Wanna Be You” with its funk-infused guitar riff and happy piano that are so complimentary, yet so opposed to the unhappy lyrics. “Radio Song” that sounds for all the world like a new-wave, alt-country song, which I would have said wasn't possible. The title track “We All Go Home” is a smooth soulful jazz song that would fit nicely into the playlist of any cool jazz bar. And finally my favourite song on the album “Same Old Song (La, La, La)” which is the only track that will remind you that he is Kenny Loggins' son. This folk-rock, acoustic guitar song is a homage to his dad, all sweetly plucked guitar and lyrics that express both his love and pride for his father and frustration of being in his shadow.
We All Go Home is a triumphant album, with very few missteps. On the whole Crosby and his Light manage to find a way though the musical minefield they entered when they decided to make a genre-less album. It's powerful when it needs to be, fun and funky when you need a break and perfectly polished all over. I can recommend this album with no twinge of guilt, and I'll go out on that limb and say that Crosby Loggins is an artist to watch, no matter who his daddy is.
If you would like to hear tracks from We All Go Home you can check-out Crosby's own website or of course you could always visit his MySpace space. Better yet, just take my word for it, and click the Amazon link on this page and buy the album. You won't regret it.