.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/81face9ec6f7506521595f932b4fe9db3e2041d0.jpeg Freedom At Point Zero

Jefferson Starship

Freedom At Point Zero

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
February 7, 1980

Without Grace Slick or Marty Balin, the Jefferson Starship is a hulk of a band, desperately in need of worthwhile material and marching inexorably toward oblivion. Literally marching: the one song that de facto leader (and sole original Jefferson Airplane member) Paul Kantner has been rewriting since Blows against the Empire is a dance-proof march that generally carries laughable, grade-C science-fiction lyrics. On Freedom at Point Zero, this song appears in the guise of the title track, "Girl with the Hungry Eyes," "Lightning Rose" and "Things to Come." Only the latter is rendered passable because of its keyboard arrangement. Kantner, as usual, tries to bury his inability to write melodies under some thick group-harmony vocals, with new member Mickey Thomas wailing away at a valiant Grace Slick imitation. But the tunes still sound like warm-ups.

Yet Kantner's compositions are at least recognizably his. That's more than can be said for the characterless heavy-metal cuts by Pete Sears (specialty: predictable dirges) and Craig Chaquico (specialty: riff borrowing — the Allman Brothers' "Revival" in "Rock Music," Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" in "Just the Same"). Groups as lame as Judas Priest or Journey could manage the music, but they'd probably reject Jeanette Sears' ohwow lyrics. By default, the LP's high point is "Jane," a four-man committee effort that boasts actual syncopation and a few moments of believable tenderness.

Freedom at Point Zero has plenty of impact on first hearing: the production is dense and vigorous, undiluted by conflict or experimentation. Given these songs, however, it's all wasted energy. After a few listenings, all the arpeggios and sound effects and shouts seem like the pitiful flailings of a band that knows it's obsolete. The album's final words are "It's gonna be all right." Who is Paul Kantner trying to convince?

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Nightshift”

    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com