Review : Ringo Starr - Y Not
BostonWhether with the Beatles, on his solo albums, or his revue-style All-Starr tours, Ringo Starr has often gotten by with a little help from his friends. Although the 69-year-old drummer/singer-songwriter produces himself for the first time on “Y Not,’’ he relies on a capable supporting cast for another round of the pop, country, R&B, and rock pastiches that are his solo stock in trade. The energetic opener, “Fill in the Blanks,’’ is a rocker co-written by Joe Walsh, who also offers piercing guitar. Dave Stewart of Eurythmics copilots the sparkly, optimistic pop song “Time.’’ A swing through retro-soul town for “Who’s Your Daddy’’ shakes out a sultry Joss Stone. And co-writer Glen Ballard ups the psychedelia quotient on the Middle Eastern-tinged title track. But the biggest bold-faced contributor here is Paul McCartney, who plays bass on the wistful “Peace Dream.’’ Where Macca is really felt, however, is as a backing vocalist on the album’s best track, “Walk With You,’’ co-written by Van Dyke Parks. McCartney’s echo of Starr’s vocal adds an extra layer of poignancy to the paean to enduring friendship. At this point, Starr’s limitations as a vocalist and a songwriter are well known. But if you’ve been on the Starr trip thus far, “Y Not’’ shouldn’t jostle you off. (Out tomorrow) SARAH RODMAN...full text
LatimesblogsDuring a recent sit-down with Elvis Costello on his Sundance Channel music-interview show "Spectacle," U2 singer Bono talked about the importance in life of sustained effort along a particular direction, a thought that's inescapable listening to the latest release from former Beatle Ringo Starr. Even though John Lennon and George Harrison snagged most of the public attention over the years with their efforts promoting peace and love, Starr has consistently reiterated those themes in his solo work coming up on 40 years since the group disbanded.
He spends a bit of time here simply banging away happily on a couple of rockers that bookend the album ("Fill in the Blanks" and "Who's Your Daddy"), and there's one fun name-dropping reminiscence of youth ("The Other Side of Liverpool"). But the heart of the 10-song collection comes from his continued exploration of how to hold onto noble ideals in the face of ever-rising cynicism and violence.
"Peace Dream" guilelessly invokes Lennon's name and message; "Walk With You" is a big-beat ballad ("love is the answer and it is real") that soars when Paul McCartney adds one of his incomparable high harmony parts to Starr's workaday voice. Approaching his 70th birthday in July, Starr also takes a lightly funky look at the passage of all those decades in "Time." He holds securely to an upbeat perspective that borders on cliché -- "Today is the best day of your life" -- that's somehow reassuring coming from the guy who's spent most of his life in an intimate relationship with time....full text
RollingstoneAt 69, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is as doggedly good-natured as ever. His 16th studio album, Y Not — recorded with a cast of all-stars including Paul McCartney and Joss Stone — is full of straightforward, sweetly melodic tunes, most of them about Starr's abiding optimism, such as "Time." The exception here is "The Other Side of Liverpool," a dark rocker in which Starr opens up about his rocky childhood ("At the age of three, my father was gone"). Otherwise, warmth and whiffs of nostalgia rule the day, particularly on "Walk With You," where McCartney harmonizes as Starr sings a prayer for serenity; it's one of Ringo's prettiest songs yet....full text
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