Review Summary: It’s been a long, long time he sounded so into it
“There’s still plenty of songs left in the old violin. Thank you.” This is how Rod Stewart embraced his first number one since 1979. Self-penned, that is. You know, in 2013 a lot of bands did make a great comeback: Black Sabbath, David Bowie and Daft Punk to name some of them. Even the Stones rocked Glastonbury last month, for old timers shake! As with all those great albums, there is something in Rod Stewart’s last album Time that moved the Brits. Is it the lyrics? It might, because Rod is autobiographical to the last word. His love stories in Brighton and the sad times after his divorce.
Stewart is keeping it simple, far away from being simplistic though. Rod penned a versatile album, ranging from heartfelt ballads to soft folk/rock tunes and modern beats, all things balanced. Time starts with two up tempo songs “She makes me happy” and “Can’t stop me Know”, with a folkish ring to them. It is obvious that Rod wants to start with energy, right before he hits “It’s Over”, a ballad about his marriage and his divorce. The singer with the most distinguishable raspy voice of the 70’s still sings with passion and professionalism, not quite his old self though. There are moments that he sounds a bit thin, one has to admit, which is normal concerning his age.
This album takes a bit from every corner of Stewart’s career. “Sexual Religion” follows an electronic beat and it couldn't seem out of place in a modern club which reminds us of his 80’s days. On the other hand, “Live the Life” sounds like it’s drawn from -Every picture tells a story- and still feels good. To his credit, none of Stewart's songs come out flat or boring. Sometimes the catch is the excellent backing women –almost choir gospel- vocals and sometimes a mellow bridge of Stewart’s famous brand. Or even a great guitar solo for the old fans, like the one in the song “Time”. Never flashy, but pushes all the right buttons. The excellent production is hard to miss, blending in different instruments like harmonica, saxophone, harps, bagpipes, violins and many others.
Time is his best album in decades, bearing in mind that this is such a personal artistic offering. Never quite dropping his crowd pleasing side or his mellowness, Rod Stewart nails it this time. If you forgot all about Rod Stewart, there is a good chance that this album will make him relevant again. If you are a fan, you have the comeback of the year.