Ringo, Ringo, Ringo. Who doesn’t love Ringo? The guy that turns out to actually be the coolest Beatle keeps his head while others lose theirs, dyed in the wool Rock (with a capital “R”) drummer and the man who asks so little of us. Hell, when the man tours he brings along a veritable jukebox of rock singers, just so you can have that variety. Generous and smart, and here we are with his 17 album.
No, he has not become a singer fantastico, but you do know it’s Ringo the moment he starts pumping out the words. First song “Anthem,” is an almost pretty good place to start. The enthusiasm is always there and the first song has some promise. But then the second one, while pretty cool, well, the hard truth is, it’s got a reggae beat. And this reviewer has about three hard and fast rules and one of them is that Jamaicans play reggae, everybody else ruins it.
Ringo is less risky when he stays in his comfort zone, like Buddy Holly’s “Think It Over” or Lonnie Donegan’s “Rock Island Line” (by the way kids- Donegan is a huge influence on the British rock scene). “Samba” is an interesting Ringo-Van Dyke Parks collaboration (hey, I know, let’s play the which part is Ringo and which part is Parks game! Nah? Ok). After that, more of the same, it’s Ringo, what’s not to love?
Now if ya think this Beatle rockin’ fool is going to trash a Ringo Starr album, then I’m here to say, it’s just not going to happen. However, if you hear Ringo 2012 somewhere, enjoy it, if you’re really got a few bucks burning a hole in your jeans, and then pick it up in the used bin.