Jon Pareles considers Ringo Starr's just released new album Liverpool 8 in today's New York Times.
Now that the surviving Beatles are in their 60s, they’re turning nostalgic and avuncular, with occasional thoughts of mortality: first Paul McCartney, with his 2007 album, “Memory Almost Full,” and now Ringo Starr. He brings his own kindly perspective to an album of songs he wrote with various collaborators — notably the producer Dave Stewart from Eurythmics.
Mr. Starr always presented himself as the guileless, good-natured Beatle, and he isn’t stopping now. He wants his old band to be remembered for declaring “All You Need Is Love.” For most of the album he sings — in a suspiciously on-key voice — about the power and virtue of love. “If you open your heart/I’ll give you love, love, love,” he insists in the cheerfully chugging “If It’s Love That You Want.”
He treats the past with nothing but fondness. The title song of “Liverpool 8” is his chronicle of joining the Beatles and leaving their hometown behind....
You can read the rest here.
What can I say about this except hey, at least they didn't give the album to the always irksome Kelefa Sanneh. But on the basis of the (to my ears, ickily sentimental) title song --
-- this review still reads to me like more of the Everything's Great Even the Obvious Shit approach that has typified the Times pop music coverage for way too long. Seriously -- I know it's Ringo, and we all love him and everything, but if that's what the rest of album sounds like, I think I'll go listen to Goodnight Vienna. Or maybe just open a vein.