Plan B, Huey Lewis and the News Silvertone Records

Paul Wong
Courtesy of Silvertone Records

With their first album in seven years, Huey Lewis & The News show they know the heart of rock & roll is in the blues.

Lewis sings his influences in “Thank You #19,” referencing Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Sam And Dave. It sounds like the band put their heart and soul into this collection of rhythm and blues – the lyrics seem quite personal, and pretty much every song shows the heartbreaking power of love. If Huey did it all for his baby and this is the inspiration he got, you have to wonder if he still believes in love. Of course, they don”t call it the blues for nothing.

Musically, the songs are pretty good. I”ve got to say that”s it”s alright, but let”s face it: It”s been seven years. That”s plenty of time to write some songs with more popular appeal. The first single, “Let Her Go And Start Over,” is good, but you will probably not hear it on the radio. The songs lack the pop power of his famous hits like “I Want A New Drug.”

Also enjoyable were “My Other Woman,” and the album”s namesake song, “Plan B.” The rest of the CD hovers around decent.

I guess it”s hip to be square, but the band will have a tough time climbing the charts and repeating their commercial success of the mid-80s. Of course, it”s a different time now. Maybe Huey wants to be popular, but I for one don”t want to hear him sing songs like “Ride Wit Me.” Anyway, the songs here are good they just don”t have mass appeal.

Bottom line: I”m just your average guy working for a living, and I can say I”ve wasted the cost of a CD on things worse than this. I”m happy to be stuck with it.

Grade: B

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