BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
You have to give Dwight Twilley his due. Forty years after roaring on to the power pop scene and instantly establishing himself as one of its elder statesmen, he’s as eager as ever to show he’s still committed to the cause. The dozen songs that occupy the aptly-named Always prove that point, what with its insistent riffing, compelling choruses and persistent declarations of enduring love, the very things that have underscored his radio-ready sound since the beginning.
From the first chords of the initial entry, “Always,” it’s obvious that Twilley still possesses the chops that can all but assure a stirring sing-along. With songs that alternate between lofty, stately ballads (“Lovers,” “I See It In Your Eyes”) and catchy, compelling rockers (“A Million Miles Wide,” “Everyday,” “We Were Scared”), Twilley and crew – an all-star line-up that includes guests Mitch Easter, Susan Cowsill, Ron Flynt, Steve Allen, Leland Sklar, Ken Stringfellow, Tommy Keene and longtime colleague Bill Pitcock IV – Twilley shows that simpler is better, but savvy bests it all.
Nevertheless, “Happy Birthday” — which finds Twilley pledging his devotion to a 17 year-old lover — may seem a bit icky on first encounter, until it becomes evident that the subject of the song, his wife Jan, is garnering similar salutations at age 54. Ah, true love…
DOWNLOAD: “A Million Miles Wide,” “Everyday,” “I See It In Your Eyes”