Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Rick Springfield “Songs For The End Of The World”

Pop rock
While I’ve followed Rick Springfield’s steady stream of releases since his 80s heyday, I have to say they’ve never really generated too much excitement for me. They are generally solid albums, with a track here or there that I deemed iPOD-worthy, but otherwise not much to write home about. I never thought he would be in the running for one of my favorite albums of the year ever again, but his new 2012 record, “Songs For The End Of The World”, is a massive game changer.

Cast aside all of your preconceived notions: “Songs For The End Of The World” sounds like any other modern pop rock record, dripping with hooks and strong performances all around. Springfield’s vocals sound incredible and his songwriting has never been this sharp. I hasten to add that there are plenty of nostalgic moments that throw you back to the 80s, but I never got the impression the record felt dated. It takes great skill to pay homage without sounding cheesy, and Springfield pulled it off.

Springfield kicks things into gear with the appropriately titled “Wide Awake”, firmly asserting that this is not your father’s Rick Springfield – “Wide Attack” takes your ears by storm. Springfield quickly follows this with the radio-friendly pop rocker “Our Ship’s Sinking”. A familiar 80s-styled riff accentuates the poppy “I Hate Myself”, and Springfield pulls out more 80s mojo with gang vocals on the fist-pumping anthem “Love Screws Me Up”. Written about his son, “Joshua” is another terrific modern pop rocker and with a wise message. If you are in the mood for a power ballad, be sure to check out “You and Me”. FYI, there are several notable guests on this record, including other 80s legends like Richard Page (Mr. Mister) and John Waite. On the bonus edition, you’ll also get a live cover of Paul McCartney’s hit, “Jet”.

“Songs For The End Of The World” is a complete triumph that will delight fans of yore and certainly draw in a new group of followers. It may even be my favorite Rick Springfield album, eclipsing even his best work from the 80s. Geez, what surprises might 2013 hold? Are you listening Bryan Adams? Billy Squier? Eddie Money?

Rick Springfield – Official site.

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