Monday, January 14, 2008

Fab One

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.

Your thoughts?

9 comments:

dave™© said...

Hey, I always give Ringo a pass - even "Goodnight Vienna."

And he looks great!

return of the plumber said...

How sad is it when we are thrilled if an ex Beatles new music is even listenable. Ah well...

steve simels said...

He does look amazing, for sure. Hasn't noticeably aged in like twenty years....

TJWood said...

Yes, the song is sentimental dreck, and doesn't exactly make me salivate to hear the rest of the album, although I might give it a listen. I read the rest of the review and it didn't bother me--Pareles pretty much indicates it's not anything essential but was respectful in doing so. This is Ringo, whose albums have rarely if ever been considered worthy of critical dissection one way or the other. Pareles certainly wasn't going to give this album the kind of savaging he gave to the last Coldplay album.

That Rickenbacker Dave Stewart is playing in the video, though, is to die for.

TMink said...

I agree with Dave on this one. And TJ about the Rick.

Trey

dave said...

Hasn't noticeably aged in like twenty years....

I'm rooting for Ringo to be the last one standing, because once he's the only one left, I'm sure he'll be more than happy to fill everyone in on the REAL story.

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TMink said...

I resent the above remark. Steve has not harmed a cat in weeks if not years, KC was certainly NOT on tour with the Sunshine Band and NYMary never voted for Ronald Reagan in her life!

You can just take your Chinese character typing, lie spewing, agitpropoganda over to Althouse and leave us alone comrade!

The nerve of some people.

Trey

Anonymous said...

I don't really dig any of those NYTimes popcrits. But I do miss David Segal at the Washington Post, who once advised music writers to avoid the adjective "shimmering".

-Noam Sane