Liverpool 8 (2008)


 
1. Liverpool 8 2. Think About You 3. For Love 4. Now That She's Gone Away 5. Gone Are the Days 6. Give It a Try 7. Tuff Love 8. Harry's Song 9. Pasodobles 10.If It's Love That You Want 11.Love Is 12.R U Ready

 

For whatever reason, a "real" record label decided to pick up Ringo as an artist for this album. This essentially means the record gets a bit more promotion and gets its album cover to show up on pages in music publications etc. It does not, at least in this case, means that anything on the album is necessary better than when he was on his independent label for his last few releases.

Sadly, the album starts out scary. The first song, Liverpool 8 is downright awful. What the record company was thinking when they decided to make this the lead off single is beyond me. It's one of those "cute" pieces that basically has Ringo reminiscing of his early days in the city of his birth and up until The Beatles' hey-day. It would have made a great piece for a Middle School musical. Sadly, the song sounds as though it was written by middle schoolers. I guess the record label figured that this was their best shot at recouping their investment - since no one really seemed to take Ringo very seriously.

It was a shame since there is, as usual, a lot of really good stuff here. Yes, he's trying to sound like The Beatles on most of the songs, but that has nothing to do with the album title, or "theme". He's simply been doing this his whole career, and as of late, it seemed he was perfectly capable of doing this without having his ex-Beatle mates contribute. He's graduated beyond the workings that always included a plethora of superstar guests on his records, and has proved that he was capable with his new band, and new writing partners, mainly known as The Roundheads.

Sadly, the "head" Roundhead, Mark Hudson was having trouble getting along with Ringo during the recording of this record, and the two had a bit of an unpleasant spat, and then split. Late in the game, Eurythmic Dave Stewart was brought in to finish things up (or, as the album says, to reproduce the record). I honestly can't see a difference. The record sounds like a "Roundhead" record, and Stewart's name only shows up on two of the credits: the above mentioned turd Liverpool 8 and Gone are the Days that has a lot of potential, but seems to die a premature death and doesn't really seem to go anywhere. And really, Ringo, please don't think you need to refer to your early classic It Don't Come Easy as a lyric in what seems at least one song of every album that you release.

So the Beatleish songs come across as the strongest. The best are the McCartney-ish Give it a Try and the beautiful Love Is that seems so similar to John Lennon that you almost want to weep. The majority of what is here is passable, and some of his experiments work better than others. Other than the disastrous lead off track, everything here stands on very solid ground, and one wishes that more people were listening to what this man had to offer.


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