September 12, 1983 12:00 PM

Jackson Browne

Okay, Jackson, we know you must be literate: The Tender Is the Night track on this LP shows you know your Fitzgerald, and Knock on Any Door shows you’ve heard of Willard Motley. But that doesn’t excuse the idiotic nonsense of the title tune, whose most effective lyric is “oooh, sha-la-la.” At least that doesn’t even pretend to mean anything, while the line “the USSR will be open soon as vacationiand for lawyers in love” appears at first glance to have been written by someone with a passing knowledge of the English language. It’s too bad the song is unfortunate, since this album also contains a biting commentary about urban poverty, Downtown, which effectively evokes the glitter of the old Petula Clark hit in contrast to Browne’s more cynical ideas.

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