Looking East

Looking East

For Looking East, Jackson Browne shared writing credits with his backing band and has sole authorship for only two songs, the slow-burning “Baby How Long?” and the life-engaging “Alive in the World.” This decision to collaborate more freely with the musicians who flesh out his sound adds extra punch to the hard rock of the title track. “The Barricades of Heaven” is among Browne’s finest tunes, evoking his youth as a young songwriter leaving Orange County, Calif., for the dreams of downtown Los Angeles and the life of a paid musician. His sociopolitical concerns show up for the clean-cut rhythms of “Some Bridges,” where he can hardly believe the troubles on the broken streets. “Information Wars” admits that the abundance of TV news seems to prove “the more you watch, the less you know.” However, Browne isn’t consumed with the dark days. “I’m the Cat” proves he’s keeping his playful side plenty limber, while “Nino” is an inspired work with longtime collaborator and friend Jorge Calderon.

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