At the time, Lizzy were in a fight for musical relevancy in the age of pop and new wave. Lynott's endurance to stay strong within the business itself, is noble. Yet, somehow Phil's focus seemed to be getting more and more stilted and diluted. This record came out during this era of uncertainy as to how Lynott could work with fresh and modern music ideas into a hit factor. Though like Solo in Soho in its musical variety, it seems that the material presented here, while honest and contemporary, seems a bit inferior to the solidness of his first solo effort.
Following Solo in Soho's recorded formula, the emphasis on pop is very strong on this outing especially on The Man's a Fool with the new wave-ish backbeat, horns and keyboard driven melodies along with Together which laments perhaps, his marriage that was slowly falling apart. He pens some tributes to his children on the heartfelt Cathleen and the wistful Growing Up. Old Town would prove to be another of Lynott's better remembered solo recordings as its a familiar heartbreak song with the singer discovering things aren't the same in the "old town" without his girl; it may be lyrically formulamatic, but music-wise, is quite tuneful. For some reason, Lynott chose to shoehorn in another version of Yellow Pearl on inclusion here, and while it may perhaps be a re-recording of this number, it being so close to its first appearance on Solo in Soho doesn't make alot of sense. Little Bit of Water has a nice quiet, refreshing melody to it that makes for a beautiful pop song, definitely one of the few highlights on this record. Ode to Liberty(Protest Song) has Lynott in a future-gazing stance of what will become of the world in 20 years time and in retrospect, is a very sad number to listen to, but at the same time, it adds power and depth to this ironic song. Gino is pure filler here along with Fatalistic Attitude the album's opening number, and while these tracks may provide somewhat of an ambience, and perhaps Phil was a bit ahead of his time with the radio broadcast snippets interlaid within these songs, they do nothing to fill out the record successfully.
Don't Talk About Me Baby closes the album on a somewhat lightweight note, its not a terrible song by any means, its just that one expects something a little bit more in depth and of a better quality. At the time of its release, The Phillip Lynott Album fared pretty badly in the charts and most fans of Lizzy didn't really care for Lynott's attempts to broaden himself within the music world at large. I don't really mind hearing Lynott's solo efforts and I think it was a necessary step for him to give an outlet to other musical ambitions. I also updated my previous review and felt I was a bit harsh on this the first time around. It deserves a fairer shake and despite the lack of focus perhaps in his solo efforts, it is an insightful look into the many facets of the Black Irishman. 3 stars