Liverpool 8 is not only Ringo Starr’s fourteenth solo album (and third in the past five years), but also a chance for the former Beatles drummer to return to his roots. Paul McCartney has done this idea time and time again, and now Starr is trying his take on it combined with his usual themes of love and peace. More developed than his last studio album, Choose Love, it’s clear that Ringo isn’t yet past his prime and still has what it takes to conquer the world of adult contemporary.
The main issue with Choose Love was that it felt as though it were littered with filler material. This has been fixed for Liverpool 8, as each of the 12 songs are quite strong. Ringo Starr seems to be mixing a variety of different styles this time around, whether it is Beatles esque psychedelic pop, adult contemporary, and even a few tracks that are a mix of traditional rock ‘n roll and pop. For an artist who has been around so long, the instrumental styles are anything but stale this time around.
As previously mentioned, Starr has taken an introspective approach to lyric writing for this album. But of course, his traditional themes of love and peace are still here in full force throughout the entirety of Liverpool 8. It is nice to see his music start to break away from some of his all too common themes and start to provide an autobiography of his life through song. Ringo Starr has admittedly never been the strongest vocalist on the market, but this album sees songs written towards his strengths. By realizing his weaknesses and writing vocal parts accordingly, Starr sounds completely at ease on Liverpool 8.
Though Choose Love left me with a bit of doubt towards Ringo’s career (despite my semi positive review back in 2005), Liverpool 8 showcases that he still has a lot left to offer. His music may still be a little too sappy for the rock ‘n roll diehard, but fans who have followed Ringo’s progress will likely find this to be one of his better album to have come out in the last 10 years or so.