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Ringo Starr: Ringo 2012

Ringo Starr
Ringo 2012
(Roccabella)

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First and foremost, let me preempt this review by stating how much of a Ringo Starr fan I am. I own all of his albums, including Ringo’s Rotogravure (really), I’ve seen him perform with his All Starr Band at Radio City Music Hall, twicefront row both times! The man is one of my personal icons; for crying out loud, he’s a Beatle! Having said that, well….

Starr’s newest album, Ringo 2012, refers to his most successful solo effort, 1973’s Ringo. Unfortunately, 39 years later, his newest album just doesn’t compare.

Ringo 2012 starts out strong with Starr’s latest peace anthem, appropriately titled “Anthem,” and “Wings,” a revamped version of the song that originally appeared on his 1977 flop, Ringo the Fourth, only this one is actually unique and impressive, complete with a reggae-ish feel, which, oddly enough, works really well with Starr’s limited vocal ability.

But that’s it.

The rest of the album falls short on just about every level. The fact that it clocks in at just under 30 minutes is actually a selling point in this case. Ringo’s voice has never been anything to brag about, but I found it especially irksome on this latest showing—especially in “Samba;” I’m sorry, but listening to a 71 year-old British man give instructions on how to perform a Latin dance…I just wasn’t buying it.

“In Liverpool” was a sweet dedication to the early days when the Beatles were just starting out, playing in the now infamous Cavern Club…but wasn’t that the inspiration behind his entire Liverpool 8 album that he released four short years ago? Much like the overall style of his music, the inspiration behind it just hasn’t changed, and that leads to incredibly monotonous albums, such as the one at hand.

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