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Nether Lands
Dan Fogelberg

Full Moon 34185
Released: May 1977
Chart Peak: #13
Weeks Charted: 39
Certified Platinum: 12/26/79

Dan FogelbergThis is great, squashily romantic outburst from Dan Fogelberg -- by far his best album. Everything jells beautifully here. His gentle fantasy, which could easily turn to self-conscious mush in such things as "Scarecrow's Dream" or "Dancing Shoes," instead has a lean, elegant vigor. And when he does pull out all of the red plush and patchouli stops in "Love Gone By," "Nether Lands," or "Lessons Learned," it's like Vronsky explaining how-things-really-are to poor, childlike Anna Karenina. (You see folks, it is 1977, and even Fogelberg hedges his commitment by adopting the role of the sadder-but-wiser one comforting the unlucky friend who really got bent out of shape. Underneath it all, of course, his songs tel us that he's played both roles at different times.)
Dan Fogelberg - Nether Lands
Original album advertising art.
Click image for larger view.
The only nit to pick here is about Fogelberg's voice, or rather lack of one. Unfortunately, it remains a reedy squeak, which he sometimes masks by double tracking and similar techniques, and it still has a disconcerting way of giving out on him altogether. His guitar and piano playing, however, are wonderfully sensitive, and his production work, with an assist by Norbert Putnam, is first-class. This is an album that is, at bottom, all flocked wallpaper, rendezvous at dawn, and passion -- tremendously unfashionable things at the moment. But they all still exist and Dan Fogelberg's work proves that romance still has the power to involve and move us despite the "coolness" of the times.

- Peter Reilly, Stereo Review, 11/77.

Bonus Reviews!

Fogelberg's following has gradually mounted since his break from Fool's Gold, and for those borderline admirers this LP should convince that he is a premier writer and vocalist. Not only is he a writer of poetic and passionate love tales, but a singer of force and conviction. The Colorado-based artist melodically wails his way with a voice that sounds ethereally angelic and laden with throbbing sincerity. His guitar and piano work is first rate while his backup band adds punchy rhythm. Solid production by Fogelberg and Norbert Putnam. Recorded in the Rockies at Caribou. Best cuts: "Nether Lands," "Love Gone By," "Sketches," "Loose Ends," "False Faces."

- Billboard, 1977.

Fogelberg returns to Norbert Putnam for this effort, which ranges from the heavily orchestrated, highly dramatic title cut to light CSN-style folk-rock like "Once Upon a Time." It's one of Fogelberg's better albums, in spite of his tendency for grandiose statement. * * * *

- Rick Clark, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

A couple of Fogelberg's albums -- Souvenirs and Nether Lands -- have their moments of fine songcraft that predate his gradual slide into schlockdom. * * *

- Peter Blackstock, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.

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