Rick Springfield’s apparent youth has always been deceptive. As the heart throb of American teenagers in his early eighties heyday he was already well into his thirties , and now despite appearances to the contrary he is an unlikely 63.
More significantly in musical terms, this, his first album since 2008’s back to form Venus in Overdrive, sees him neither mellowing towards retirement, nor trying to recapture the signature sound of his halcyon days. Instead he has produced a dozen remarkably fresh songs which are not only some of the best work of his career, but embrace modern writing styles and production values, even if some rather cluttered instrumentation and the odd bit of Coldplay –style piano are initially off putting to those of us reared on classic melodic rock styles.
Far from being ready for pipe and slippers, spiky pop rockers with a slight punky edge predominate with opener Wide Awake a case in point. Our Ship’s Sinking has such strong hooks that it deserves to be ranked as a classic alongside his eighties hit singles, and Sign of Life and Joshua are also irresistibly commercial, while in contrast I Hate Myself is a three chord garage rocker, yet works in this context.
Although the album is up tempo, the ballads You and I and I Found You showcase the melodic sensibility always at the heart of his work. This has always been counterpointed by a darker more confessional side to his personality which comes through in the lyrics to the likes of Love Screws You Up, with its chanting chorus reminiscent of the J Geils Band.
Another positive thing about the album is that some of the song structures are not obvious, closing number One Way Street being a good example, and this means that new layers are discovered with repeated listening in a genre which often provides an instant fix. On this evidence the Dorian Gray of rock is maturing with age like the finest Australian Chardonnay.
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)
Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)
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