Breakfast in America Review

By Rachel Brown
169When recognizing and honoring the creators of flawless rock albums, it isn’t surprising to find bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd dominating the charts. In contrast, a group like Supertramp rarely seems to make the grade; however, their greatest album, Breakfast in America, should not be overlooked. The record is a perfect mixture of pop synth and rock n’ roll, and, much like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, appeals to a wide demographic with ballads like “Lord Is It Mine” interspersed with up-tempo numbers like “The Logical Song”. Supertramp had a noteworthy amount of commercial success in the mid-70’s with hits like “Give a Little Bit” and “Bloody Well Right”, but their accomplishments went largely unsung until the release of Breakfast in America, which launched the band into stardom.

The album fades in with a deceptively soft piano riff that is instantaneously uprooted by the explosion of behemoth power chords from an electric guitar. The opening track, “Gone Hollywood”, surprises its listener with a roller coaster ride of tempos and sounds. Much like going through the eye of a hurricane, the bridge slows down just long enough for the ear to adjust to the mournful melody of a soulful sax, only to be hurtled into the storm once again. The lyrics themselves also complement the chaos, describing the ups and downs of Hollywood in a blatant satire of the city.

However, while the title track of the record is also a caricature of American living, Breakfast in America isn’t necessarily meant as a jab at the United States. The album, while light and catchy enough to be popular with a broad audience, does in fact delve deeper into the human psyche than most might assume upon an initial preview. Refrains of mediocrity and isolation are strung together as beads on a string, one after the other. And so, though the record may be a delightful pop romp for some, it also provides enough content to be explored further by more studious critics.

Breakfast in America is certainly an enjoyable ride, and though it was best known for hits like “The Logical Song” and “Goodbye Stranger”, the real meat of the album is buried in tracks like “Take the Long Way Home” and “Child of Vision”. Listen to the record in its entirety and don’t disregard the B-side. You won’t regret it.