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Album review: Ringo Starr's 'Y Not'

RINGO_STARR_240_ During 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.

-- Randy Lewis

Ringo Starr
"Y Not"
(Hip-O)
Three stars (Out of four)
 
Comments () | Archives (5)

Three cheers for Ringo!

I recently bought the remastered Beatles box set, which has only confirmed the love and deepened the awe I feel for this band - including Ringo. Feast your ears, and have a good listen - especially if it's been a while.

Ringo drives the early rockers with a rock-solid beat, inventive fills and terrific energy. As the band grew in range, feeling and musicianship with every album, Ringo kept pace with John, Paul and George, the ideal ensemble drummer in a group of increasingly conflicted egos. Later, on songs like 'Rain', 'Hey Jude' (to name but two - there are so many), he plays with deep feeling and understated expressiveness.

The remasters tell the tale of how well Ringo's style blended with Paul's complex, melodic bass lines. The drums never intrude, never crowd out the vocal harmonies or guitars. The guy didn't even like playing solos - how many drummers were so self-effacing, so dedicated to the overall sound of the band?

George Martin said in the Anthology series that Ringo almost never made a mistake or blew a take in the studio. The others, yes - Ringo was always ready, always prepared, always a total pro.

Ringo must be one of the most underestimated musicians ever. The standard line is that he was the luckiest guy in show business. Whether or not that's true, the Beatles were very lucky to have him.

This is a great album!Buy it!

Yay, Ringo! Might have to check this out.

Hm... what is it that will make you seat and listen new fresh Ringo album?! Is everything gone tasteless and unbearable and bad? Simple answer: Yes!
Ringo deserves a Noble Prize for his efforts - Why Not. Well let me see, I guess that Ringo is most underrated musician of all times, thanks God that he was well paid for been in the greatest conspiracy of all time ( side effects: couple of junkies more on the planet) Not a bad album do, my choice: Ringo IV

I get so tired of people who don't know what the F ck they are talking about when it comes to Ringo. If you listen to how good he is instead of listening to morons saying he wasn't any good you will achieve total awareness. Ask most any drummer how good he is and they will tell you. As a drummer I can tell you there is nobody with better timing.
Until Ringo drummers were almost ignored. He sang, wrote, played before anybody and gave drummers a face.


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