Customer Reviews: Mother Lode
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4.7 out of 5 stars51
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on November 20, 2001
My favorite Loggins and Messina album. This is not the sort of breezy pop music this duo is known for. Rather, "Mother Lode" features some complex, intricate instrumental passages that primarily showcase country instruments (fiddle, mandolin), but with an effect that is closer to world music, sometimes with a vaguely middle-eastern feel. I initially owned this album on vinyl, and it is the first 4 songs, that originally constituted side 1, that enthralled me then and that continue to motivate me to pull the CD out and play it again.
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on May 24, 2003
I'm not the be-all, end-all expert on this comparatively short-lived collaboration. Hell, I only have one other L&M album. But I can tell you this: This album, compared to almost any other - from ANY artist - deserves a place in the coveted "disc 1" position of the old CD player. From the opening strains of "Growin'" to the haunting harmonica ending of "Fever Dream", this album, more than any other, defined my appreciation of music, and made me understand why some people are destined to be bricklayers or accountants, while others are destined to be songwriters and performers. There're too many albums out there written and performed by folks who should have been laying brick or crunching month-end numbers. Not here; this album gives a rare glimpse of a duo who were made for what they're doing.
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on November 11, 2009
I had the honor of working on this album. It was the first L&M album recorded at Jimmy's ranch in Ojai, CA with the Haji remote truck and the first of their albums for which I was the technical adviser.

From the very beginning you could tell this was going to be a special project. The first vocal we recorded was "Brighter Days" which we started recording about midnight. It was an amazing evening and when I listen to this album today I am still taken with the superb audio quality we achieved recording in Jimmy's house and the incredible quality of the music we captured.

Working with Jimmy and Kenny will always be one of the highlights of my life.
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on January 1, 2004
Fine songwriting, produced with perfection, and timelessly listenable.
When this recording was released Loggins and Messina would soon break up. You'd never know it.
Many excellent recordings suffer from not having enough drama; an all-over sameness of sound, tension without release, bad pacing. I could describe many qualities that make recordings with wonderful parts not wonderful as a whole. In contrast, Mother Lode is the complete package, enjoyable in its full presentation as it is in its individual parts. A real gem.
I loved the L.A. country-rock style of the early albums. The fine crafting of songs. This effort, while not as commercially viable as its predecessors, still resonates today in a way that the more popular Loggins and Messina recordings do not. I urge you to give it a place in your CD collection.
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on November 10, 2000
If but one album could have been placed in a time capsule from the mid 70's; this should've been it. Lyrically, it spoke of friendship, freedom, lifework, disillusion, death, unrequited love (and what did it leave out?) with a depth and magic that few albums ever possessed. Musically, it was Messina's most intricate writing & production; Loggins' brightest shower of sparks of all his musical alchemy. And this is the greatest "autumn" album of all. It stands up yet and the mystery of it binds me still.
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on December 19, 2001
Back in 1975 my music was CSN&Y, JAMES TAYLOR, DOOBIES, stuff like that... MOTHER LODE was introduced to me by a friend and never left me since. The clear voices as well as the instruments move into your ears and kling inside your brains long after the music has stopped.
BE FREE to move your feet listening to (in my ears) Irish and Greek sounds covered within clean American Rock. I find myself in the song KEEP ME IN MIND. You might find yourself in there, too.
If you like your job you do it right. Here are some people who loved their job very much. This is Country Rock as its best.
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on December 26, 2000
What Hotel California was to the Eagles or Dark Side of the Moon was to Pink Floyd or Tapestry to Carole King - Mother Lode was to Loggins & Messina. This is the career defining album. This is one of those "if I only had x number of albums to listen to . . . ." Jimmy Messina was never better as a songwriter or producer, and Kenny Loggins "Brighter Days" is (IMHO) the best song he ever wrote, and he's written some good ones.
Buy this album.
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on April 4, 1999
The middle '70s were captured by the song "Be Free." Of all of the music, of all the hype, of all the recollections that have stayed with me, this CD is the pinnacle of what was good and right with those times.
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on May 27, 2012
The early-'70s: a Golden Age...

It may seem a bit mawkish in these revolting years of utter corruption and violence, but the reviewing of this LP from 1974 is definitely a time-trip to better days.
USA had finally emerged from the cesspit of Viet-Nam, the Watergate scandal hadn't yet gained legs, and people were into the mellow mood of L.A.-country-folk-art rock.
(Other bands of this genre include the Eagles,Crosby-Stills-Nash-and Young, and James Taylor--to name but a few.)

In any case, one of the most attractive features of Mother Lode is the fact that every single track on the album is a winner: this makes for a nice listening experience.
Plus, the tracks are in a good order and the sequence transfer to CD is very satisfactory.

The songs have a lot of energy.
They're instrumentally well-scored, and the poetry's not bad.
(The solicitude of `Keep Me in Mind' is a little pathetic, but overall the songs are pretty darned good.)
There's a tangential jazzy element with sax solos; the vocals are good; the string-work and the percussion rhythms are tight.

Bottom line is that after nearly forty years this album holds up amazingly well: it's a pleasant surprise, and a way back to an historical mentalité of a calmer era.

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on April 28, 2014
I saw them at the Music Hall in Houston, TX when they were originally promoting this album. Bought the album & listened to almost every day to decompress from a car pool in rush hour traffic!!! Worked like a charm. Lost this wonderful album due to Hurricane Ike in 2008, so I had to order the CD. But there's nothing like the origianal vinyl album on a great stereo with Boze speakers. We need to go back to vinyl; it just sounds better!!!
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