Ringo Starr – Zoom In (2021)

History: The Wikipedia page for this EP is pretty scant, but the liner notes seem to feature a pretty wide range of session musicians as well as some famous friends providing backing vocals. It was recorded in 2020 but I don’t know if that means everyone was recording their parts at home or if they had started work on this before lockdown and just finished it there.

My own personal history and initial prediction: I am fairly certain I’ve seen the music video for “Here’s to the Nights” and I think I saw the one for “Zoom In Zoom Out” as well. This was the first album released after I started this project so while I didn’t dive in all the way yet on purpose I did check out the videos out of curiosity. The songs were about on par for what I expected for Ringo.

Review: “Here’s to the Nights” is probably the strongest song on this EP, so it makes sense that they made it the opener. However there’s no denying that it was recorded during a pandemic, because it’s missing a little extra bit of energy that would have existed if these people were able to get together rather than recording on their own. I do appreciate that the mix actually allows you to recognize Paul’s voice in the backing vocals though. The rest of the singers are largely a jumble, with the exception of Lenny Kravitz who gets his own solo moment.

The other single, “Zoom In Zoom Out,” is also strong. It’s yet another of Ringo’s manifestos of peace and love with a driving beat behind it. It’s interesting that he doesn’t get songwriting credit on this one. Maybe he at least kind of spoke with them about what he wanted? Because it does still very much feel like him. The same goes for “Not Enough Love in the World,” it’s very much his style even if he didn’t write the lyrics.

Of the two he did, I find them fun for what they are. “Teach Me to Tango” is a simple song about going off together with Ringo to a place in paradise, and “Waiting for the Tide to Turn” is basically a tribute to reggae done in that style. Nothing world shaking but pleasant to hear.

So far I’m really happy with this choice to move to EPs because it doesn’t seem like they can wear out their welcome, they’re just here and gone rather quickly. We’ll see if that continues with him putting these out so frequently.

Next Time: Ringo’s second of 2021, Change the World.


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