History: While Ringo originally wanted to do a country album in Nashville, he ended up recording a mix of rock and country at his home in LA. instead. Many of his frequent collaborators return to help him write songs, and Paul makes an appearance playing bass and doing backing vocals. Peter Frampton is a new songwriting partner for a song on here as well.
My own personal history and initial prediction: I’m glad to see Paul returning since I usually enjoy their songs together. I’m still a bit confused as to why Ringo keeps returning to old songs, but at least they are bonus tracks on here rather than just album filler.
Review: I pushed off listening to this album an extra day later than I originally planned, because I was super tired that day and had a feeling that listening to a Ringo album at that time would have led to me being overly negative. We won’t know for sure, but coming to it on a more rested day, I still didn’t particularly fall in love with this album. “We’re on the Road Again” is a good upbeat way to start the album for sure, but most of the rest is about on par for Ringo lately. That track is apparently the one that also features Paul’s backing vocals, but I honestly don’t remember them on there. There are some female backing vocalists that are pretty prominent on this album, and they largely drown out the male voices. They do at least work well with Ringo.
There are a couple remnants of what was probably his original country album idea, “Standing Still” and “So Wrong for So Long” being chief among them. I liked the latter better with its slide guitar sound. I imagine the covers of “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Photograph” may also possibly have been intended for that as well, and I think the more country feel of both does work. But the majority of the rest of the album is his standard rock fare he’s been doing for the majority of his solo career. Peter Frampton makes his presence felt most prominently on “Speed of Sound,” using the talk box he’s become so well known for.
My favorite of the album was probably “Shake It Up” as it’s a true old school rock and roll song. Now that we’re getting so close to modern times, I don’t see why Ringo doesn’t just embrace this style wholeheartedly. He’s clearly good at it and who doesn’t love that sound? I’d listen to a full album of him doing new songs in that style for sure. As it is I’ll just keep being okay with these good but not great albums.
Next Time: Paul’s Egypt Station as well as his video game and Kanye collaborations.