Despite the presence of such prestigious sidemen as Jim Gordon, Jim Horn, Larry Knetchel and Russ Kunkel, David Gates' first solo album since the breaking of Bread is the same old slick rock & roll Muzak -- often very pretty and doubtless commercial, but devoid of identity. Produced and arranged by Gates, the album comprises ten attractive formula tunes, the best of which have the professional gloss of filtered airbrushed nude centerfolds in which nothing is revealed. Gates' voice is ideal when sliding from tenor to alto to tenor in ballads such as "Sail Around the World," "Ann" and "Clouds," typically romantic daydreams puffed up with phony, soap-opera pathos. But his trademarks are much less evident in his "rock" songs, which, musically at least, are about as heavy as Gilbert O'Sullivan "getting down," wah-wah pedal notwithstanding. The album's most ambitious exercise is the melding of the hit "Clouds" with another song called "Rain" into what is labeled a "suite," complete with orchestral overture and sound effects of wind, thunder and rain. They lyrics show Gates at his worst. "Come on rainbow, I can't let you go/ Before I reach the end of you someway," he sings, indicating that, for him, writing words is basically the nuisance task of having to fill up so many melodic stanzas.