Graded on a Curve:
Kenny Loggins, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Greatest Hits of Kenny Loggins

Why is it I can’t think of a single witty thing to say about Kenny Loggins? I had to think for a while before the answer came to me, and the answer is this—Kenny Loggins is no laughing matter. Kenny Loggins is the worst thing that can happen to your ears this side of cholesteatoma.

Here we thought we’d left him behind in the seventies, a spent force. But he rose from his ashes like a bad soft rock taco—please excuse the terrible simile, but I’m upset here—and having once ear-fucked us with such infamous tunes as “House at Pooh Corner” and “A Love Song” he turned around and ear-fucked us all over again. A great man once said there are no second acts in American life. One can only wish this were true.

How did Loggins pull it off? Simple. He abandoned his mushy Mr. Pooh persona and reinvented himself as a performer of such jump and jive movie soundtrack staples as “Footloose,” “Danger Zone,” and “I’m Alright (Theme From Caddyshack).” And presto! America’s No. 1 Vapid Soft Rock Annoyance was back on top, and this time around you could dance to him! Toss in such unforgivably catchy AOR hits as “Whenever I Call You “Friend”” (thanks for nothing, Stevie Nicks!) and “Don’t Fight It” (damn you Steve Perry!) and suddenly there was no avoiding him.

Fans and serious masochists will want to pick up a copy of 1997’s Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Greatest Hits of Kenny Loggins and play it nonstop until their brains turn to creamed corn. Everybody else should try to put as much distance between themselves and this baby as humanly possible. Is there something to be said for a compilation that brings together Loggins’ trio of bouncy soundtrack staples? I suppose there is. Even I can’t bring myself to hate “I’m Alright,” and “Footloose” is everything David Bowie hoped the loathsome “Let’s Dance” would be.

But as much as Loggins tried to temper his taste for treacle, he failed. “Return to Pooh Corner” is the worst of the bunch—his return to said corner is like a killer returning to the scene of the crime—but “Meet Me Half Way” is pure treacle too, as are “For the First Time” (he has his patented hush down pat) and the awful “Conviction of the Heart,” which having been convicted should be locked up forever in a maximum security prison in Illinois somewhere. And let us not forget the holiday schmaltz fest that is “Celebrate Me Home,” on which Loggins croons the word “please” like a deranged whistlepig.

Perhaps the only good thing about this comp—aside from its inclusion of the aforementioned soundtrack trio—is the fact that it doesn’t include the horrifying “Rainbow Connection”—why are there so many songs about rainbows, anyway?—or “The Last Unicorn,” into which Loggins pours every last bit of heart and soul. Nor does it include the unimaginable “Birth Energy” off 1997’s The Unimaginable Life, for which we should all thank God for small favors.

Picking on Kenny Loggins is every bit as easy as picking on Donald Trump—all you have to do is sit back and wait for the stupid shit to come out of their mouths—but a few random samplings from his various solo LPs has simply reaffirmed my belief that he poses an existential danger to Western Civilization. I will grant him “Footloose” and “I’m Alright,” but after that I put my foot down. You simply can’t trust a man named Kenny, and when it comes to Loggins your safest move is to log out. Period.

GRADED ON A CURVE:
D

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  • kate

    You are an untalented hack with something still to prove to yourself. Keep trying, you still haven’t.

  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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