CD Room Service [Shaun Cassidy] (CD 16020001),
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Room Service [Shaun Cassidy]

  • 1. Fallin' Into You
    2. Time For a Change
    3. Only Because of You
    4. Are You Afraid of Me?
    5. Break For the Street
    6. Heavin In Your Eyes
    7. You're Usin' Me
    8. Letter, The
    9. You Still Surprise Me
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 79279

  • Credits
    ProducerMichael Lloyd; Shaun Cassidy
    EngineerHumberto Gatica; Michael Lloyd

    Personnel: Shaun Cassidy (keyboards); Dan Ferguson, Al Ciner, Jay Graydon, Richie Zito (guitar); Terry Harrington (saxophone); Jay Gruska, Michael Lloyd , Tom Hensley, Jimmy Greenspoon, Greg Mathieson (keyboards); Carlos Vega (drums); Alan Estes, Randy Foote (percussion); The Pearl Drivers (background vocals).
    Photographer: Ron Slenzak.
    Arranger: John d'Andrea.
    Shaun Cassidy's pop/rock career had effectively peaked when this album appeared, although he was still gamely trying to push the river. Cassidy and songwriter-producer Michael Lloyd certainly pulled out all the stops -- no less than 13 different musicians are credited. Cassidy and Lloyd appear among the seven keyboardists, while four different people handle the guitar honors. The problem isn't the production; it's a slick, yet solid exhibit of "late-'70s L.A. sound" that peers like John Stewart and Andrew Gold rode to gold and platinum success. There's pop-tinged disco ("Are You Afraid of Me?," "Time for a Change"), synth-driven balladry ("You Still Surprise Me"), and a nod to Cassidy's rock & roll roots with a slinky remake of "The Letter," given a funkier, conga-accented treatment than the original. The real issue is a lack of distinctive material for Cassidy to call his own. He and Lloyd wrote or co-wrote all but one song -- "The Letter" -- so they definitely have to shoulder the blame. Cassidy might have had better luck if he'd stuck to his stripped-down guns on "Fallin' Into You" or "Break for the Street," whose crisp delivery and guitar work make them the best moments here. But that's only because of the iffy company that surrounds them, although "You're Usin' Me" benefits from a gritty vocal presumably inspired by hardbitten experience (as half-brother David could attest). "You Still Surprise Me" also brings the album to a strong closing note and awaits the definitive soft rock reading. Almost anyone in Cassidy's position could have made this sort of album, which suffers from a nagging seen-it-all-done-it-all syndrome -- which he acknowledged on the new wave gestures of his next album, Wasp. ~ Ralph Heibutzki

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