Review Summary: A fine specimen of the Lynyrd Skynyrd confirming their place as the southern rock darlings of the 70s. Not without its flaws, but the tracks that rock well make it a must have.
The album title for Lynyrd Skynyrd's third album is humble. Nuthin' Fancy may not be "high fallutin'" by nature, but the implication that this is a simple record is deceiving. To be sure there seems to be some filler songs in here where Van Zant may have been stretching for well crafted material, however the meat on the bones of this record are slow cooked and savory in unmatched southern rock style. Falling off the bone is "Cheatin' Woman" perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of fine Billy Powell keyboard and rich swampy blues. "Country Boy", which could easily come off as cliche, renders cleanly as a heart felt gritty, soulful proclamation of a proud station.
But it is side 2 of this record that really shifts into third gear starting with "On The Hunt" reminding us that Lynyrd Skynyrd is a force to be reckoned with. Sink your teeth in riffs backed with scorching stratospheric guitar lines position you as Van Zant's wing man as he hunts for pussy (for him at the time though I am sure it was less of a hunt and more of like "taking his pick". Taking the anomaly award though for side 2 is "am I losin'", that sounds as though it were produced by James Taylor. But the clutch reengages confidently with the Kink-esque "Made in the Shade" and the deep seated hickory smoked "Whiskey Rock-A-Roller" making this album a finger lickin' good keeper. Play it loud.
I never truly identified with the good ole boy thing but last week, as I walked through Amsterdam I found myself whistling "Whiskey Rock-A-Roller" as I passed the conspicuously European crowds down the brick roads. I never felt more a-kin to this type of music and lifestyle. I may not be for all Americans or represent all Americans but it is truly a unique recipe and definitely homemade.