Jackson Browne | The Pretender


Family Average: 6.1/7


My Dad brought up a good point in reviewing these albums…saying something along the lines of “there hasn’t been an album released that I enjoyed for twenty years now.”

It got me thinking, we’re exposing our parent’s to the newest albums, but not reciprocating. Why not expose our young baby ears to some albums of the past? So, this week we asked our Mom to suggest an album to review.

Nobody in the family was surprised when she said a Jackson Browne album…Sean usually throws one of his records on for all of us when we’re home and Mom somehow always knows almost all the words. Still, some members were surprised at just how much they enjoyed it. If you want, listen along on Spotify here.

Let’s get cracking:


1977, What can I say? Senior year of high school. To help you relate, Jackson Browne was my John Mayer at the PNC Arts Center! We all wanted to be the girl that sang back to him on “Here Come Those Tears”!  

Listening to it again today, it’s easy to see why this was such a huge success for him. Every track is captivating. Telling you a story through his beautiful melodies and a voice to melt your soul. I remember thinking the first few times listening, Why is “Linda Paloma” here? But you have to give it a couple of run-throughs to know it totally belongs right where it is. I truly love every song on this album, it may be a generational thing or it may be a music thing. I will be glad to hear what you all thought of it. “The Pretender” track, if I had to pick one would be my favorite. I guess because, like in the song, I found a boy “who can show me what laughter means” [shoutout to you, Dad].

Thank you for treating me to a revisit of one of my all time favorites. And remember, “When you’ve found another soul who sees into your own, take good care of each other”  [lyrics from “The Only Child” track]Those are some words there.



"Browne has the unique ability to pour his heart out to you, while keeping his distance. He closely guards his inner-soul; he opens up the door but never really lets you in."


The “Fuse” sets the tone of this album, similar to the way a good concert should open, full of promise and excitement building slowly with blistering pedal steel guitar riffs and an overlay of piano keys.

This record sets a mood, one of hopeful youth sprinkled with a bit of insecurity, then sadness, then back to joy.

Browne has the unique ability to pour his heart out to you, while keeping his distance. He closely guards his inner-soul; he opens up the door but never really lets you in. He is a master at provoking a fight, and making his cutting critical observations seem like twisted compliments,  almost self mocking until you unlock the true meaning of his lyrics.

7/7 Bravo!!!


I would adequate this album to one of those nights in which you drink the perfect amount of alcohol, you’re around people you really love and are comfortable with, and you just smile the whole time.

The lyrics aah I wrote so many down. Full of metaphors yet I just like the way he words things with phrases such as “fill your eyes”.  Lots of good ones in “Your Bright Baby Blues” too, especially the bit about watching yourself from the sidelines.

Simple yet there’s a lot of instruments in there. Whatever that magical instrument was in “Lindsay Paloma” was a yes.

Good stuff, I understand why people I love, love him.



Having never heard this album with the track list handy I was giddy when I saw the title “Daddys Tune”.  Made me think hey why not take a page out of our dear Peter’s [Dad’s] book and paraphrase a review that I feel shares my views:

“It was like a worn-in pair of blue jeans or your favorite  sweater.”

-Peter Maldjian

See that there? I did proper authors credits. Ahh but anyway yeah the whole time I kept closing my eyes and seeing myself sitting in the living room eating turkey with the Family that Reviews. Just all over a real warm, reliable, album that you can turn to friends with a thumbs up to at a dive bar while sipping on a watered down Budweiser  Thanks for this one it’s been quite the week.



First track I heard, “BLOOD.” I liked because it reminded me of the techno infused music coming from Kevina’s room, or what he blasts through my car stereo on the way to surf practice, lol.  The Lyrics, more than the music, on some tracks appealed to me. However, in some cases, like the track “ALRIGHT.” and “YAH.” I enjoyed both tremendously. Sadly, the song I liked the least featured Rihanna. Just expected something with more substance from two talented artists.  



To quote Sean, “Holy smokes!” I have never intentionally sat down and listened to Jackson Browne for an entire album. I think Sean sometimes puts his records on for mom at home. I feel like he perfectly encapsulates that 70s sound to me. I think he’s got himself a new fan…almost 40 years later haha.

I especially loved “Here Come Those Tears Again” and “Daddy’s Tune”. 
“Linda Paloma” kinda took me out of the mood temporarily and felt like a themed throw-away that we didn’t need…but after reading Mom’s review maybe I need to give it another go. 

5.5/7 I AM A FAN!


I didn’t expect much really from this album, and I was happy that the first song really just said fuck you to all of my preconceived notions; I have always been reluctant to listen to Kendrick for no reason but a personal bias that has no backing evidence. Needless to say am glad that I was, for lack of a better word, forced to listen to his new album.

His name is heavily lacking, completely absent, on any forms of composition and production which heavily rubs me the wrong way, once again a personal bias. If one wants to be an artist I feel that lyrics isn’t enough, but sadly this seems to be the meta of rap music.

5/7  If only music theory was in his DNA


I feel like I’ve been transported back in time, driving somewhere on the east coast in the 70s. 
The writing is really good; it blends a lot of different styles together successfully. The production is amazing, you can hear all the details of each instrument, without ever feeling overwhelmed. The sad songs are great. Take a lesson, Hovvdy.

Not my preferred style of music, but its an album I can appreciate.



I didn’t realize how many of these songs I’d actually heard before until I listened to the album in full. I just never knew the names of them! 

It’s slower and less showy than a lot of the stuff you hear nowadays, but that’s not a bad thing. It takes its time, because it knows where it’s going.

The whole album, from the music to the vocals, feels so genuine. The tone is very bluesy, in a way that is heartfelt enough to be deeply moving, but not feel depressing. It’s a testament to a life that is difficult and tiring, but those hardships make the good things all worth it.

It makes me think of a hot summer night, sitting on the porch drinking beer with close friends or family after a long day of work…which is funny cause I don’t even drink!


Sean Maldjian