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RECORD RACK

* * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty : : INCREASED CRUNCH

September 06, 1987|DUNCAN STRAUSS

* "WILDSIDE." Loverboy. Columbia. Loverboy has apparently decided to put the peddle to the metal. That is, after years of dispensing not-so-hard rock with burnished edges, lots of gleaming keyboard fills, lush harmonies and somewhat detectable melodies, the Canuck quintet now aggressively pursues the rougher, tougher stuff that in recent months has often gone Top 10. Probably just a coincidence. Oh, and another coincidence: Among the writers of "Notorious," the noggin-rattling lead track that telegraphs Loverboy's penchant for increased crunch, are the chief tunesmiths from Bon Jovi, the band with metal's Midas touch. Which isn't to say that Loverboy has entirely forsaken its sound or style. For instance, "Break It to Me Gently" is a vintage Loverboy rocker--though the only one written strictly by members of the band. Another coincidence, no doubt. This record gives off the odor of a group keeping up with the chart-topping Joneses at all costs.

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