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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Jul 20th, 2016

Jim Peterik: The Songs

the songsJim Peterik
The Songs
(World Stage International Records)

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Electric piano and vocal ballad “Vehicle” starts off Jim Peterik’s new 13-song album The Songs. This is pretty much a retrospective of this well-known American singer/songwriter’s tunes made big hits. He is best known as the founder of Survivor (Peterik co-wrote their anthem “Eye of the Tiger,” featured here) as well as writer for tunes for 38 Special, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, the Beach Boys, and many others bands; Peterik is a major talent of American pop. Speaking of “Eye of the Tiger,” there is a country-stomp version here featuring fiddle, banjo, and mandolin. Peterik’s strong, passionate vocals, plus Night Ranger’s Kelly Keagy’s harmonies, make this one killer remake. The strings slicing on the 38 Special hit, “Caught Up in You,” are fantastic, as is the sweet, slow, acoustic noodling on “Hold On Loosely.” (It’s a real pleasure to hear these songs done this simply without all the late-80’s bombast.) One of my favorite Beach Boys tunes of late, “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” is here (Peterik is one of the writers of the song) done with just acoustic piano behind Peterik’s vocals. “Heavy Metal” features wild harmonica and slapping, percussive acoustic guitar and “The Same Muse” is very much born from the same stone as Jimmy Webb’s “Highwayman.” Sweet piano, sax, and strong vocals with an historic sweep to the lyrics makes this another killer tune. Indeed a contemporary of writers like Jimmy Webb, you’re as much bound to recognize lots of the tunes here as well as come to realize how expertly Peterik revisits his compositions on The Songs.

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Jim Peterik: The Songs