Ringo Starr

Liverpool 8 | Capitol
By BRETT MILANO  |  January 28, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
inside_RINGO-STARR---LIVERP
Ringo Starr has never made an album that’s less than entertaining, and there aren’t many Beatles you can say that about. Still, his latest gets squished in a clash of producers’ egos. When the disc was nearly done, he split with Mark Hudson, his producer/collaborator of the past decade, and handed the tapes over to former Eurythmic Dave Stewart, whose “re-production” here makes Phil Spector’s work on Let It Be sound tasteful. Hudson isn’t exactly subtle either, so a batch of perfectly good songs are weighted into studio extravaganzas, with poor Ringo caught in the middle. Prime offender is the title track, which should have been a comfy bit of nostalgia but gets inflated to a Pepper-esque epic. Elsewhere, there are so many clashing vocal parts and guitar effects that you have to strain to hear the actual songs. Which is a shame, because said songs (all of which Ringo co-wrote) are pretty good. “Tuff Love” and “Think About You” are up there with the irresistibly tuneful singles that Starr released in the ’70s. And “Harry’s Song” is a touching remembrance of his old mate Harry Nilsson. Someone should have realized that you don’t need so many frills when you have one of rock’s best drummers and most likable personalities in the house.
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