Tom Wilson Tom Wilson's Planet Love

I've always had a lot of respect for Tom Wilson, even though I've recognised that his biggest downfalls have come when his self-indulgence has gone unchecked. This was always the case with Junkhouse, a hit and miss band at the best of times. Conversely, his best work has occurred in the fully democratic situation of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Wilson's "Lean On Your Peers," from Kings Of Love, remains "a lot of song." Therefore, I was more than a bit worried as I put on Wilson's first solo album, fully expecting no one to be steering the ship, especially after noticing more than a half-dozen producers and a ton of guest performers credited. After a few listens, I can't say those worries have gone away. Most troubling is the overabundance of drum loops, which have never been my favourite thing and now tend to scream "mid-life crisis" whenever I hear them in an established artist's work. Without them, I think Wilson's blues preacher persona would be much more effective. As it stands, along with the loops, there are too many other sonic distractions in the songs. Maybe it's just because I've seen Wilson give so many compelling solo shows that so far I haven't been able to get deep enough into Planet Love. If this was something Wilson had to get out of his system, I hope he's feeling better now. After hearing this album, it's hard to take him seriously when he sings in "Sex, etc...," "Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, it's all I believe." (Columbia)