Atlanta Rhythm Section - Truth In A Structured Form album review

Re-release of 1989 album from southern soft rockers

Cover art for Atlanta Rhythm Section - Truth In A Structured Form album

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Strictly speaking, this album should be credited not to Atlanta Rhythm Section but to ARS, the acronym they were forced to go under for this album only, for legal reasons too obscure to go into. It was their first album in eight years, and it saw founding members Barry Bailey (guitar) and Dean Daughtry (keyboards) return to the studio along with vocalist Rodney Hammond and drummer Sean Burke, plus a brace of new players. The group had suffered throughout the 1980s as their 70s southern-fried, hazy stylings fell out of fashion. Truth was a conscious, commercial attempt at radio friendliness, glazed in a post Jefferson Starship production.

Nonetheless, there’s an old style, strolling amiability about the album that’s reassuring to long-time fans. Awesome Love sets the tone, while Listen To The Wind works up a mild guitar breeze. There are moments of pastiche – a quote from The Stones’ Start Me Up on I Want You Here With Me, the highly Springsteen-esqueNeon Street, and is that a nod to The Human League on Don’t Get Me Started (‘She was working as a waitress at the interstate cafe’)? Perhaps not.

Anyway, the album didn’t sell and it’s uncertain why it’s being reissued, except to sate ARS (not Atlanta Rhythm Section) completists.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.