Rod Stewart – Another Country (Rating 2.5 out of 5)
The good news is that there is not a Great American Songbook tune anywhere within these walls. Unfortunately, that is about the only good news to be found on Another Country, the latest record released by Rod Stewart. Props are to be given for writing a couple of his own songs here, the Celtic tinged “When We Win” is tailor-made for the major stadium play, and “Can We Stay Home Tonight” could have been included on his Tonight’s the Night” album back in the day, and could have been written for a super model. On second though maybe it was. After all, he does have a couple to choose from.
The best song he has done in several years actually would be his interpretation of “Corinna Corrina” back on his Time album in 2013, and can only be found if you were fan enough to check out deluxe edition. Otherwise, while the voice seems whiskey soaked and strong as ever, the soul seems to have been sucked dry, failing even to deliver a little bit of soul on an album called Soulbook. How he failed to deliver the emotional goods on “Rainy Night in Georgia,” a feat Michael McDonald was even able to pull off, is still one life’s great mysteries.
With the title song “Another Country,” and “Walking in the Sunshine,” he has a couple of crowd pleasing up-tempo numbers to add to his live shows for the next couple of years, and on “The Drinking Song” his voice does sound a bit road weary, but maybe that is pretty much the point with this song that looks back at the bad old times with a less than reverent eye.
The best tune of the bunch is “Every Rock ‘N Roll Song to Me,” a song that names checks “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Bat out of Hell,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and several others has got to be good, and despite the fact he adds “Tubular Bells” to the list of Rock and Roll songs, this one is pretty good, and a whole lot of fun. If you can somehow avoid listening to “Batman Superman Spiderman,” do yourself a solid and do so.
Overall ,this is not a bad pound for pound record. Keith Richards he’s not, but it is somehow comforting to know that Rod Stewart is still in the game, and at least attempting to Rock and Roll. Well at least Roll.