Album review: Ringo Starr's 'Ringo 2012'
“Ringo 2012” has as much to do with Ringo 1948, 1957 and 1973 as it does with the Ringo of today. In the notes from the label, the 71-year-old ex-Beatle states, “I can revisit the past when I want to, but I don't live there,” and his trips down Memory Lane, thematically and musically, yield some modestly charming results here.
“In Liverpool” finds him reflecting happily again on his youth in postwar England in the port city that was the birthplace of the Fab Four. He salutes two of his early heroes with a crisp rendition of Buddy Holly's “Think It Over” and a hard-chugging arrangement of Leadbelly's “Rock Island Line,” a touchstone number for U.K. music fans who grew up with the hit version by ’50s skiffle star Lonnie Donegan.
He also reacquaints himself with two songs from his own past: “Step Lightly” from 1973's “Ringo” album and “Wings” from “Ringo the 4th.” However much he wanted to take another whack at these tunes, you wish he'd have reached out for more contemporary collaborations like “Samba,” a Latin-flavored number he wrote with Van Dyke Parks that allows the world's most famous drummer to flex his rhythmic chops a bit. He's also delivered a Ringo-sweet love song in “Wonderful,” written with Gary Nicholson.
“I do the best I can to live in the here and now,” Starr also writes in the press notes. It's a healthy approach to life that would serve him well as a songwriting credo too.
Two and a 1/2 stars (out of four)