Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, skyrocketed to superstardom as the Beatles drummer. After the eminent group parted ways, he released numerous solo albums, with his third studio album Ringo (1973) going platinum. The other three Beatles as well as numerous guest stars made appearances on the album, which became Ringo's signature. He would go on to form Ringo Starr's All-Star Band, which is a rotating who's who of stellar musicians. Born in 1989, the supergroup has had twelve incarnations thus far and their fall tour kicks off October 13th in Las Vegas.
This past Friday, Starr released his nineteenth studio album Give More Love, and, true to form, there are some superb collaborators on the album, including Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton. Of the fourteen tracks, ten are originals and four are reworkings of his previous songs. The album is a medley of optimistic sweet pop, tinged with melancholy. Ringo's voice has always lent itself to being an odd mixture of hope and sadness, akin to how you feel when you leave home for the first time for college or summer camp.
The lead track on the album is "We're on the Road Again," with McCartney, Walsh, Steve Lukather, and Edgar Winter adding their heavenly skills to this upbeat testament to jamming in the studio. Next track, "Laughable," is one of the best on the album, with a progressive beat, infectious rhythm, and lyrical relevance. The eighth track on the album, "So Wrong for So Long," veers from his usual rock pop sound and hits country territory and features The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart. It's a bold move for him, but of all the tracks on the album, it's one of the few that doesn't quite work. It's still too happy-go-lucky and pristine sounding to be a dogeared country ditty. “Give More Love,” which was the first single released from the album, is a heartfelt song that is all Ringo, in style and substance.
The album has a wonderful, nostalgic feel, but also seems current day fresh. Ringo has always had a signature singer-songwriter style and he stays true to it, for the most part, on this album. The title of the album belies its message. While some of the songs may not be as strong as his previous work, as a whole it quintessentially represents Ringo's peace and love credo. It's a fun and thoughtful romp through the landscape of his ideals and musical mastery.
Notable Tracks: “Give More Love” | “Laughable” | “So Wrong for So Long”