Sunday, 16 September 2018
Rod Stewart - Still The Same - Great Rock Classics Of Our Time (2006)
Released October 2006
Recorded in Los Angeles
After four almost incomprehensible years of issuing four volumes of "The Great American Songbook" crooning standards that simply just did not, despite immense popularity, suit Rod Stewart, he decide to revert to what he knew best. Stewart had always covered other artists' rock songs exceptionally well, certainly in the seventies he did. Even thirteen years before this, on 1993's "Lead Vocalist", he came up with some seriously impressive covers. This time, however, it wasn't Rod Stewart from the seventies or the early nineties singing. It was a more lazy, self-satisfied Stewart, an artist who was seemingly quite happy to labour through the covers in virtually identical fashion to the originals playing them dead straight. He doesn't offer interpretations of the songs he covers, they sound more like karaoke versions of them from an acceptable singer, or from "X-Factor" contestants.
Personally, I would have preferred a bit more experimentation, as he did on "Ruby Tuesday" in 1993, "My Way Of Giving" in 1970 or "Street Fighting Man" in 1969. Instead, we get Rod singing Bonnie Tyler's "It's A Heartache" (where, initially Tyler sounded a hell of a lot like Stewart) virtually note perfect to the original. Even Bonnie Tyler's unique vocal infections are somewhat bizarrely copied by Rod. Similarly, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain", a track also covered by Bonnie Tyler, is sung in the same style as her cover of it. John Waite's "Missing You" and Nazareth's "Love Hurts" are also covered without much deviation from their well-known originals.
Basically, all I can say is that accusations of laziness for this album are certainly not far wide of the mark. Stewart does not put his own stamp on any of the songs, no in the slightest. To a song, they are all preferable in their original incarnations. Therefore there is no real need to play this album, rendering it totally inessential. It is not a bad album as such, just not inspired in any way.
- September 16, 2018