By Martin Popoff
Quid Pro Quo
An astonishing 44 years on, Quo has worked its way through psych, blues boom blues, a patented and celebrated heavy riff boogie, a sort of sour-pop boogie, and now, with the rough framing of the last, say, three records, Status Quo has struck a balance between the ’80s sound and the ’70s sound.
Or, more accurately, they’ve applied the light touch of the ’80s execution and production to songs generally more driving than the material on those forgotten ’80s albums. And I’m happy to report, “Quid Pro Quo” is more “driving” than the last two. Not so much heavier (although a bit), but more uptempo and rocking, Francis and Rick still, somehow, find new permutations toward boogieing briskly, like Ramones with roots, as on “Frozen Hero,” “Let’s Rock” and the almost-metal “Two Way Traffic.”
Keeping things interesting, you’ve got the piano and keyboard work of Andy Bown, as well as the two-vocalist formula, Rick turning a tune slightly gangland, Francis, almost country. Fourteen varied, but, as I say, generally faster, tracks later, and the guys re-make their own melancholy, Eagles-ish popster “In The Army.” Under the circumstances, “Backwater”/”Just Take Me” would have made more Motorheaded sense.