Sunday, February 28, 2016

RICK SPRINGFIELD: "Rocket Science"

Rating: RRRRr
Label: Frontiers 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

FYI: This album contains a free photo of Rick's dog sporting a nice hat! It also contains a little bit of TWANG and the slightly more down to earth, middle-of-the-road, or if you prefer, West coast, Modern Americana, and ditto Folk/Pop/Country, than previous Springfield albums. Just as catchy and uplifting as always though. Have they been listening to everything from The Hooters to Jackson Browne and '1989' (the smash hit album by Taylor Swift, also re-recorded by Ryan Adams), prior to penning down the material for the album? Sure... Why the hell not?

The result is v-e-r-y pleasing to these ears and it's just the healthy overdose (huh?) of classy Rick Springfield melodies of course. Simply strap yourself in good and tight and brace yourself for one helluva roller coaster ride. Okay. It's sort of the laid back cruiser music ride and not always proper rock (if there's such a thing?). But, it's almost like if Springfield decided to go beyond previously accepted limits of human touch and endurance and trust his fans to have an open minded approach to things. It's a wee bit of banjo, pedal steel, mandolin, fiddle and violin.

Again. Don't get me wrong. It's just as catchy and fun as ever and don't go thinking it's all Nashville. I even find it difficult to name-drop songs and highlights? Why, you ask or not? It's simply because it's just like one long highlight and quite possibly the album effort of his career!!! Age versus the sound you're supposed to support and wear on your sleeve? Sure. (I Wish I Had A) "Concrete Heart", could just as easily have been the track off 1989. Then again. Max Martin is a genius.

Final verdict: Close your eyes and simply try and imagine the super catchy mix of Springfield, the Hooters, Jackson Browne, and 1989 (both versions: Ryan Adams and Taylor Swift), and you're pretty close to the core. One thing's for sure... it ain't Rocket Science. It's the nearly perfect Springfield album. Let's Light This Party Up!

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