BOB SEGER : I KNEW YOU WHEN
Label : Capitol Records
Length : 50:17
Release Date : November 17, 2017
Review (AllMusic) : Mortality is on Bob Seger's mind on I Knew You When, an album dedicated to his departed friend Glenn Frey. I Knew You When contains two tributes to Frey - the sepia-toned title track and "Glenn Song," the latter available only on the album's Deluxe Edition - but the onetime Eagle isn't the only dead rock star to haunt the album. Seger covers Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, both selections - "Busload of Faith" and "Democracy" - nodding to the American mess of 2017, another element that adds a sense of immediacy to the record. Despite these undercurrents of sentiment and politics, I Knew You When can't quite be called a meditative, melancholy record, not with roughly half the record devoted to fist-pumping arena-fillers that feel piped in from several different eras. "Runaway Train" is confined by a robotic pulse that channels "Shakedown," "The Highway" is dressed with '80s synths, and "The Sea Inside" is a clumsy nod to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," sounds that not only fight with Seger's protests and tributes but fight with each other. These old-fashioned album rockers are so loud and awkward, they overshadow the excellent singer/songwriter album that lurks at the core of I Knew You When. Such imbalance makes I Knew You When a bit incoherent, yet in its quietest and angriest moments, it offers some of the best music Seger has made in the 21st century.