What's Wrong with This Picture?
Released: April 1977
Chart Peak: #95
Weeks Charted: 16
Andrew Gold's second album is a disappointment. His debut record, Andrew Gold, released a little over a year ago, bristled with fast, smart pop songs and confirmed the promise and intelligence of his lead guitar work on Linda Ronstadt's recent records. The music on What's Wrong, however, is slack and often tedious, its lyrics fatuous. Gold Seems to have fallen into the same trap that has recently ensnared Ronstadt: the notion that to be taken seriously as a performer one must sing "serious" (i.e., slow) songs. Thus he concocts romantic twitterings like "Firefly," "Lonely Boy" and "One of Them Is Me" which smack of insincerity and make evident a dearth of inspiration.
- Ken Tucker, Rolling Stone, 3/10/77.
It might be going a bit far to say that without Andrew Gold there wouldn't be much happening on Linda Ronstadt's records, but the superb band Gold leads and the arrangements he's cooked up for her have certainly been major factors in her success. As a solo artist, unfortunately, he leaves a lot to be desired. His voice is serviceable enough (it's improving, too -- he sounds much more convincing here than he did on his first solo set), and his guitar playing, when it's on, remains absolutely breathtaking. The problem is that, for all the mid-Sixties English influences on his songwriting, he hasn't much of a knack for melody, and his albums are pretty bland as a result.
- Steve Simels, Stereo Review, 5/77.
Well, let's see, a quick survey of the relevant ones: guitar plugged into telephone, forty-five on tape deck, calendar opened to November 31, copy of People with Gold on the cover, and this record, with its borrowed life -- anyone can make "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" sound OK -- and authentic self-pity. Big insight: On "Lonely Boy," the source of L.A. weltschmerz is revealed to be siblings. C-
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
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