“Pay Before You Pump” is former NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson’s third solo album, a country rock effort with an emphasis on the rock. When he remakes his song “Lonely Too Long,” he allows distortion to creep into his guitar riff; by contrast, Anderson’s version of “Without Your Love” is even more quiet and understated than Tippin’s, but when Anderson sings, “Danced with the devil in a bottle of whiskey,” there’s a stark terror in his husky whisper. Music Row hitmaker Bob DiPiero cowrote two songs with Anderson and they’re the most country-sounding tracks on “Pay Before You Pump.” “Change Is Gonna Do Me Good” (a thinly disguised rewrite of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”) is an old-fashioned gospel hymn, while “Under the Hood” uses more automobile metaphors than you can count. –Geoffrey Himes
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