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Worlds Away
Pablo Cruise

A&M 4697
Released: June 1978
Chart Peak: #6
Weeks Charted: 43
Certified Platinum: 9/19/78

America is the melting pot, where diversity meets and mingles. Where else would a group such as Pablo Cruise be possible? Their vocal blend is standard lanolated white-soul harmonizing behind an anonymous Everyman of a lead singer, sincere but restrained. This band's chordal backdrop strives for the tightness and expansiveness of the Doobie Brothers, out of Steely Dan. The rhythm section sounds like down South, but one is never sure how far down: there's the whiplash Allman Brothers groove, the textbooks Muscle Shoals playing -- plus a touch of mariachi boogie. Here and there appear fragments of Foreigner's ballooning heaviness, Supertramp's fairy-godmother morality, Pink Floyd's synthetics, etc. You can play spot-the-influences as well as I.

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Pablo Cruise comes from the melting pot's very core, California, which created none of the above sounds but sure can market them. The trouble with this universality is that all these sounds lose their character when they're melted together and homogenized. In other words, there's undoubtedly a myriad of Pablo Cruises within the California state lines. Unsurprisingly, this particular Pablo Cruise sings a lot about escape: "Sailing to Paradise," "I Go to Rio," "Runnin'." If they can't take it, there's no reason why you should -- so let Worlds Away escape you.

- Michael Bloom, Rolling Stone, 12/14/78.

Bonus Review!

The Cruisers hit my enemy list somewhere on Interstate 95. Hook glut, it's called -- hear David Jenkins sing "once you get past the pain" fifty times a day and the pain will be permanent. Even if the next hit is the title cut, a genuine rocker, the band is the '70s Grass Roots, and if Orleans and the Doobie Brothers are the obvious forerunners, that's their cross to bear. It don't mean a thing if it's studio swing. C

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

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