in Review

Lost in Liverpool

Ringo Starr – Liverpool 8

In honor of Liverpool being declared the European Capital of Culture for 2008 (whatever that means exactly) I thought I’d take a look at an album released earlier this year by Liverpool’s very own Ringo Starr. Now I have never really been a big fan of Ringo’s solo work, but I do believe he’s done a handful of songs in his career that are worth mentioning such as Ringo’s debut solo album Ringo which contained a handful of good tracks such as; “Photograph”, “It Don’t Come Easy” and “You’re Sixteen” and I even liked some of Ringo’s songs from the late 90s when I saw him an old episode of VH1 storytellers recently, but unfortunately this is not one of Mr. Starr’s better works.

Starting off my disappointment was hearing that when production of this album began back in 2007, Ringo had a falling out with his former producer and frequent collaborator Mark Hudson (Formerly of the Hudson Brothers back in the 70s) I enjoyed Ringo and Hudson’s chemistry together on a handful of tracks off of Starr’s 1998 album Vertical Man and thus was sad to see that partnership end. So cut to 2008 and Ringo has released Liverpool 8 (his return to the EMI record label) an album that is meant to be a nostalgic trip to 60s rock unfortunately falls flat and leaves for a highly forgettable experience.

You have to remember that this is coming from someone who really respects the Ring Man. Sure I’ve always loved his drumming and the personality he has when singing an upbeat tune, but he just doesn’t have that spark for song-writing (even with the help of about 3 other people) These bluesy rock oriented tunes aren’t anything that we haven’t already heard about a million times, and Ringo is basically just repeating himself here. I think the title track/single “Liverpool 8” is kind of cute (of course Ringo’s tribute to his hometown) but it isn’t a particularly creative arrangement, which I think can go for most of these songs. Though I also think that Dave Stewart (producer of the album and former member of “Eurythmics”) does give this a tight and polished sound despite the lack of ingenuity. So I’d definitely say that this is something you wouldn’t regret missing, it’s not absolutely terrible but it certainly has its problems.

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