Brando's Badfinger Newsstand

The Pilgrim by Joey Molland The Pilgrim
Joey Molland
Rykodisc 10212

by Carl Cafarelli
Goldmine , July 10, 1992, page 132

While the world waits for the remainder of the Badfinger catalog to finally see reissue, former 'Finger Joey Molland returns with his first solo album in ages. Casual Badfinger fans may not be blown away by The Pilgrim, but more serious fans will take cautious delight in this long-awaited work.

The album opens with its most aggressive track, the anti-Gulf War "You Make Me Sick." Subsequent tracks vary stylistically from the ballad "No One Likes The Rain" to "Your Eyes," a rocker reminiscent of Nick Lowe. "Vampire Wedding" dips into Anne Rice territory, while "All The Way" (the album's original title track) simply drones on for too long.

It's somewhat surprising to note that each track retains an indefinable but unmistakable Apple flavor-the songs sound of a piece, not only with Badfinger's now-classic recordings for the Apple label, but also with work by former label mate Jackie Lomax. This may be attributed to a critic's overactive imagination, but the Apple sound (if there is such a thing) is definitely still in the grooves for Molland.

We'd like to say that the material here rivals Badfinger hits like "Baby Blue" and "No Matter What," but that would be stretching the truth to the point of, well, outright lying. Molland is not the late Pete Ham, and we wouldn't even bother with the comparison if the Rock Critics' Code didn't specifically require that the current work of former Apple artists be constantly contrasted with their work of over 20 years ago. Sorry, but them's union rules.

Really, Molland shouldn't need to rely on past glories. The fact that he didn't go for the easy name recognition and release this as an album by Joey Molland's Badfinger (the name under which he tours) is admirable, and makes the point that it's time to treat Molland as the solo artist he is. For Badfinger fans, The Pilgrim builds successfully upon Molland's previous work. For novices, this is as good a place as any to start. Come and get it.

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