Review of Dark
18th November 1976
Tom Jans means to be seen a a serious singer/songwriter in
the intellectually romantic school of Jackson Browne. And though his concerns and
perceptions aren't as wide ranging as Browne's, he has a similar gift for expressing the
pain and isolation that can accompany an affair.
Jans is working with a basic rock band fronted by solid if
somewhat predictable twin guitars and backed by a distinctive rhythm section. Kerry
Hatch's bass is particularly effective, and his prominent placement in the mix makes him
the heart of the rockers, as on the lilting "Why Don't You Love Me", which
wouldn't have been out of place on Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees. Appropriately, Jans is
produced by Joe Wissert.
Jans is most successful on up-tempo rockers, particularly
"Bluer Than You" and "Young Man In Trouble", which incorporate
imaginative rhythm changes to snap the attention. "Rosarita" is the strongest of
the slower tunes; using the hard images that run throughout the album - bone, blood,
stone, fire - he prefers a lover whose restless frustration parallels his own.