Pop Albums: John Lee Hooker - Don't Look Back Pointblank VPBCD 39

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The Independent Culture
Broadly speaking, a record producer has two main duties: to accurately capture the feel of a performance, and to seek to improve that performance by offering such advice as is necessary. Serving in that capacity on Don't Look Back, Van Morrison errs on the side of the former and, it would seem, neglects the latter, resulting in a warm but complacent offering on which the two chums noodle away awhile without ever approaching the heights of which each is capable.

A rousing opener of "Dimples", featuring the Hook backed by Los Lobos, rather belies the general tenor of the album, which is thereafter somewhat cosier. It's by no means bad, especially when pianist Charles Brown brings his characteristic moody atmosphere to tracks like "Travellin' Blues", but the trademark boogies are a little thin on the ground. Under Roy Rogers' reliable guidance, Hooker has in recent years made some of the most creditable of modern blues albums, but here the tone is more that of a mutual admiration society than a working relationship

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