Postcards From Paradise (2015)


 
1. Rory and the Hurricanes 2. You Bring the Party Down 3. Bridges 4. Postcards From Paradise 5. Right Side of the Road 6. Not Looking Back 7. Bamboula 8. Island in the Sun 9. Touch and Go 10. Confirmation 11. Let Love Lead

 

After listening to Ringo Starr all these years, it’s a bit embarrassing that I finally discover something that most have probably known for a very long time: Ringo Starr badly needs a lyricist. You wouldn’t think that an album by Ringo Starr would necessary suffer because of poor lyric writing, but it’s definitely apparent here. No, this album is not one of those albums that really comes close to “great” or even “really good”, but it could have been much better had a bit more care gone into it.

I’ve complained in past reviews of Ringo’s albums, that he seems obliged to sing about either a) his hometown of Liverpool and/or b) his experience as a Beatle. Neither of these are bad in and of themselves, but he usually bungles such songs up with his idiotic juvenile lyrics. What’s really sad in this case is that the music on some of these songs are actually very melodious and catchy. He just blows the songs when he starts to add words. The leadoff song, Rory and the Hurricanes is Ringo’s homage to his first band, right before he joined The Beatles. Most serious lovers of the Fab Four know this, so not many will be asking “who?” when listening to the song. The tune actually has a very nice little chorus, and it could have been so much better if he would have left the cuteness out, and swapped out the lyrics completely. We could have a had a very decent track. Instead, we get a forgettable repeat of same kitchy shtick.

What’s worse…..a lot worse, is the title track Postcards From Paradise. Worse because, musically, it’s probably the best thing here, but he feels obliged to insert the name of every Beatle song possible in the thing to tell some kind of musical “story”. It’s embarrassingly stupid. Had he not done things like this on album after album, it might be forgivable. You would think someone close to him would nudge him in a different direction. I can’t imagine anyone thinking this kind of idea is good. I can’t even bring myself to notate some of the awfully corny lyrics here since they make me so angry (because he can do much better). Do a Google search if you’re interested. Listening to a song like this will remind you of your annoying uncle that you see every Thanksgiving that tells the same stupid jokes every year that no one ever laughs at. Yet your uncle never gets the message and repeats his act every freaking year.

Fortunately, there’s a few instances of good music with decent lyrics that stand out here. Touch and Go is a nice little pop piece and Bamboula has some nice little Caribbean riffs going through it that makes the experience quite fun. The best song on the album is the very sweet Not Looking Back. This track makes you yearn for Ringo’s (what I think is his) golden period during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.

The rest that here is o.k. Nothing special. I realize most really don’t care, but knowing what this man is capable of always frustrates me a bit since he just seems to have given up. Perhaps Ringo doesn’t care much either. If so, God bless him. He deserves happiness, and he does seem to be quite content with his life now that it’s in the fourth quarter. It’s just that he has proved that he can do so much better.


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