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JOHN WARREN (Buy CDs by this artist)
Advance Warning (Condor) 1983

This is an oddity for its time — an independent rock album on which an artist doesn't play an instrument and only contributed to the writing of one song. A large cast of Boston-area musicians provides slick, overbearing modern-rock backing for singer Warren here; Fred Pineau, guitarist in the underrated Atlantics, produced. Warren has an intriguing voice, especially when he's straining in a high register, but there's definitely something essential missing from the mix. Still, the a cappella rendition of Jonathan Richman's "The Morning of Our Lives" provides an unexpectedly sweet coda.

[Ira Robbins]