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The next album, released in 1971, was From the Inside. Timothy wrote the title song. Following is a review of the album by Stu Werbin in Rolling Stone magazine, Oct 14, 1971: "Since the fist time I saw Poco live almost two years ago I've developed a psychological dependency for their music. I found them to be a better cure for the blahs than Alka Seltzer and as suitable a means for relieving stress as transcendental meditation. They have the unique talent of not only being able to take a sad song and make it better but they actually write sad songs and perform them as if they were about something better than sorrow. Heartaches would sneak around the bend and say "Hey my friend"(as in Timmy Schmits "Hard Luck"). The optimism of the music and it's presentation always transcended the more depressed emotional content of the lyric. There is aggression in the words to Richie's "Child's Claim to Fame" but it is a much warmer bear-hugging release of tension than the usual fare of aggressive rock for which Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and Jagger's "Under My Thumb" are the standard.

But the group has been changing. After the high spot of their live album, Paul Cotton replaced Jim Messina as lead guitarist. Cotton is good enough so that if guitar picking was all Jimmy had done for the group his presence would not be missed. But Jimmy also produced the albums and he doesn't anymore. Steve Cropper has produced this new one and there is little on "From the Inside" to indicate that he accepted the assignment with much enthusiasm. A good deal of blame for the lack of inspiration and energy on the album must rest on his shoulders.'

Things start off OK on side one with Richie and Rusty Young taking the lead on "Hoe Down". But just when they got us in the mood for it, on comes Paul Cotton's "Bad Weather" and that down tune sets the mood for most of the rest of the album.

"What Am I Gonna Do" is, on it's own merits, a fine country tear jerker, a little bit like the Everlys doing a Ferlin Huskie tune. Rusty's pedal steel equals the country masters, and if it was the only sobber on the album, wedged in between the bouncey Poco good-time music that I was expecting, I would be quite fond of it. But I perceive it as the pivotal cut which sets the confused disturbing tone of the album. The lyric catches up with Richie this time:

"And now it's one or the other

But how can I choose.

When there's a chance that I might loose

The one that I refuse."

The odd accenting of words and syllables that in the past created a climbing or bouncing effect functions here and on the rest of the numbers to disjoint rather than uplift ones emotions.

"You Are the One" is a song that the group has used in concert for sometime. It was recorded for the live album but not used. On stage it was a rouser. This studio version is sluggish and serves as incriminating eveidence against Cropper. "Railroad Days" is where Paul takes us for a ride on his guitar. He does it well but it's been done before. The title cut, written by Timmy Schmit, is as you would imagine an attempt to write from his insides. Like so much of the rest of the album it is pretty pessimistic.

The next three songs are more country discomfort. On "Ol' Forgiver, Cotton reverses the Poco trick and makes the lyric "You got me laughing inside/At the happy face I'm facing" sound sad. At least the last "Just For Me and You" offers an optomistic hint that Richie has begun to pick up the pieces again and this glum stage is passing.

Seeing the group in concert again recently proved that they still can make people real happy. I can only guess at what caused "From the Inside" to come out the way it did. This is an album that country fans might choose to cry along with, but Poco fans will have to turn to previous and hopefully future albums for relief.

Poco page 3

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