Friday, 25 October 2019

Ringo Starr - What's My Name (2019)

Grow old with me....

  

Released on 25th October 2019

Running time 34.00

Ringo Starr albums are reassuring things - always about half an hour in length, always full of immaculately-played, catchy, pleasing, inoffensive rock songs. The world is sort of a better place with Ringo still in it, putting out an album every few years. Who would have thought it? This is his twentieth studio album.

TRACK LISTING

1. Gotta Get Up To Get Down
2. It's Not Love That You Want
3. Grow Old With Me
4. Magic
5. Money
6. Better Days
7. Life Is Good
8. Thank God For Music
9. Send Love Spread Peace
10. What's My Name                                

Gotta Get Up To Get Down is a vaguely funky, pounding but catchy slow rock with contemporary references to Facebook. It also has a few “rap” passages that don’t sound too incongruous. After a few listens, I really like it. There is some good wah-wah guitar bits in it as well. It’s Not Love That You Want is a lively little tuneful rocker with a typical, endearingly deadpan Starr vocal and some nice guitar and keyboard riffs. Septuagenarian (soon to be octogenarian) Ringo urges his listeners to Grow Old With Me on his cover of John Lennon's song from the Milk And Honey posthumous album from 1984. Yes this is a big slice of cheese (it always was, let's be honest) but when I listen to it I can’t help but just think "good old Ringo”.

Ringo likes a bit of nostalgia and he delivers a bit of it on the endearingly mournful Magic. The jaunty beat cannot hide Starr’s natural laconic air. It features a nice guitar solo and some infectious drums at the end. The old Barrett Strong number Money is delivered by Starr singing through some sort of voice distorter. It is what it is, a classic song covered enthusiastically.

Better Days is an upbeat, brassy pice of typical Starr fare - good, solid rock but no work of genius. The same applies to Life Is Good. Thank God For Music is a sort of Beach Boys meets Ian Hunter nostalgic saxophone-driven rocker. Send Love Spread Peace is quite Springsteenesque in places, again, it is very singalong. The organ intro is very Dylanesque too. What’s My Name is a fun piece of harmonica-driven rock with a Status Quo riff.

You know what you’re getting with Ringo albums - every one he has done has been enjoyable, none of them really stick on the mind, but that doesn’t really matter, does it? I actually prefer the last few he has done in this century to his 1970s output. “What’s my name? - Ringo!!…” is the final line sung on this album. Simple, but somehow touching in a strange way. I can’t really explain why. Probably because he has always been my favourite Beatle.

C+

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