You know, some musicians are better off behind the scenes … and Dave Stewart, by virtue of his latest solo album, has demonstrated that he’s one of them. Stewart has done phenomenal work as a sideman, songwriter and producer over the last 30-plus years; as part of The Eurythmics and working with the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Katy Perry and others. However, as a solo artist he falls flat.
The Blackbird Diaries sounds forced and, at times, contrite. It’s almost as if, left to his own devices, Stewart can’t deliver the goods for himself … and he knows it. That’s too bad. Don’t get me wrong, the album is pleasing enough to listen to. It’s just that there’s not a lot there in terms of substance. And that’s too bad to. Go with your strengths, Dave – write for and with others and we’ll all be in a better place.