Rod Stewart: Time

rod stewartRod Stewart
(Capitol Records)

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The light, acoustic, tambourine-led, (I’m sorry to say) slightly banal lyrics of “She Makes Me Happy” opens Rod Stewart’s 15-track album, Time. It’s a nice tune all the same though, as is “Can’t Stop Me Now,” with its sing-able chorus, but I think the sweeter (and again, acoustic guitar-led) “Brighton Beach” is a better stab at autobiography. This is the tune Rod claims got him back to writing songs again after a two-decade, “longest writer’s block in history.”

“It’s Over” is really damn good. It’s a tune about the trials and tribulations of a failed marriage. Rod’s distinctive voice and perfectly placed strings really make the goose flesh rise.

There are some fun horns and electric guitar on big mover “Finest Woman” and a floaty Rhodes sound to the title track, a sneaky bluesy mid-tempo number. There’s also a sense of on-the-edge-of-desperation to “Pure Love” that works breathlessly with Rod’s nearly weeping vocal.

It’s just nice having Rod co-writing almost every tune here. Of the covers (two as part of the bonus tracks), he sounds great on the sweet “Love Has No Pride” and on the spectacular gospel-tinged string-laden upright bass take on Tom Waits’ “Picture In A Frame.” As he did on “Downtown Train,” Rod kicks it out of the park interpreting Waits.

Mostly the lyrics of Time are exactly what a guy of Rod’s age should be writing about (though some are a little too sweet for me personally) and I think this album should be seen as a companion to Stewart’s recently released Rod: The Autobiography hardcover.

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