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On the Waters ()

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Bread broke big with their second album, thanks to David Gates' sentimental soft pop classic, "Make It With You" -- the song that set the standard for sensitive mellow pop ballads for the '70s and for years to come. Its pull is strong, but it's a bit misleading, since the group hardly just turns out a series of these lovely, luxurious pop tunes throughout the record. In fact, with the considerable assistance of Robb Royer and James Griffin, the group actually rocks it harder than Crosby Stills & Nash (if not CSNY, true enough), and they continue to show that the diversity and range of material they demonstrated on their debut was no fluke. If anything, "Make It With You" doesn't set the pace for the rest of the record, since even the softer moments, such as "Look What You've Done," isn't as lushly mellow as that -- there is more coloring through the guitars, and the songwriting has more edge and melody than that. Of course, this is hardly a hard rock record, but it's a first-class Californian pop record, one that is as blissful as a sunset when it lays back, and as incandescent as a day at the beach when the tempo is sprightly. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi Hide synopsis

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