Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

Rock with humor, melody

Dangerous Moments
Dangerous Moments
By Martin Briley

Polygram Records: 1985

This review first appeared in the February 27, 1985 issue of The Daily Aztec.

There has been of late an effort to restore some of the fun to rock music, to make it more like early rock 'n' rollin attitude if not style. The Beat Farmers and George Thorogood come to mind as bands that certainly don't abandon principles of solid musicianship, but manage to have a good time while they're at it.

Martin Briley is another, although he approaches it more from eye smirking sort of fun that Joe Walsh espouses.

Individually, the songs from Briley's latest album, "Dangerous Moments," are reminiscent of Phil Collins' solo work, but the effect of the album is a whole is more cohesive than Collins, and closer to that of, say, Gerry Rafferty. Like Rafferty's best albums, "Dangerous Moments" is full of apparently simple songs that, upon closer listening reveal hidden depth.

"Before the Party Ends" is a rocking, catchy song with musicianship that is precise, if never truly impressive. But the lyrics really add to it:

I want to read all those books that the Gablers burn
I want to stand with my feet on dry land
And when Darwin arrives, I want to shake his hand.

The title track is another song with a strong, memorable melody, and it has been getting some airplay on local rock stations lately. Besides the obvious hook, the song is grounded with a mature patience in timing that lends itself to repeated listenings.

Briley also exhibits the kind of wacky humor that Walsh has in the song "School for Dogs." The intro passage is paced by a dog's barking, which continues as part of the rhythm track throughout. The lyrics deal with Briley's relationship with his dog, and the ever-present threat of banishment to obedience school.