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Weekend Reviews : A Timeless Wilcox Delights Pepperdine

September 27, 1993|DON HECKMAN

David Wilcox's songs exist in a kind of pop-music time warp, untouched by the shifting tides of fashion. His solo performance at Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre on Friday was a suspended moment of excellence--a bit reminiscent of the singer-songwriters of the '70s, yet uniquely timeless, and a constant delight.

Wilcox included a few pieces from his last album, 1991's "Home Again." Typically, they showed his ability to express romantic feelings with no sense of stylistic inhibition.

Among the more indelible moments, "Farther to Fall" used the crossing of a high bridge as a metaphor for a relationship ("Something comes over you when you see that span of life ahead").

In "Last Chance Waltz," Wilcox avoided the temptation to explore the obvious cynicisms, touching instead upon the unembarrassed poignancy of resolving the memories of an old love at a high school reunion ("Won't you please waltz me free, the turns of our steps are untangling me").

But Wilcox has a humorous side as well--a shaggy tale about a neighborhood "Black Dog," a folk-rap description of plastic surgery, and the sartorial "New Levi Blues."

Good songs, all of them--the love anthems and the satires, the family memories and the social concerns--sung by a songwriter whose endearing modesty as a performer only enhanced the subtle sophistication of his music.

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