I grew up on Dave's music as one part of the Eurythmics. To this day, I still believe his greatest strength as a producer was on those songs. Dave has a knack for electronics. This translated well to some of his solo recordings as well such as 1990's "Dave Stewart and the Spiritual Cowboys", 1991's "Honest" and 1998's "Sly-Fi". He disappeared for many years and then returned in earnest with 2011's "The Blackbird Diaries". Drawing inspiration from Nashville, that album was a departure for Dave. The following year he released his second Nashville album "The Ringmaster General". And now he delivers his third, "Lucky Numbers".
For me, as a fan, these Nashville inspired albums are well produced, well arranged, ordered to please, with a loose, freewheeling vibe. But, no matter how enjoyable this is, there still remains a gnawing in the back of my eardrum that yearns for a return to electronics. While it's all nice and grand, "Lucky Numbers" isn't anything unique. With Dave I have come to expect experimentation, pushing the boundaries, but with these three Nashville albums he seems content to just produce middle of the road adult contemporary rock. That's all fine and well, and now that he's produced three of these albums I'd like to see him do something radical next time out.
The problem I've had with "Lucky Numbers" and the other two, is that they are all uneven. When I listened to an Eurythmics album it all fit together nicely, particularly 1987's "Savage", which was brilliant. "Lucky Numbers" starts promising with "Every Single Night" (which I like the best here), but also "Drugs Taught Me A Lesson", "How To Ruin A Romance" and "What Is Wrong With Me?" After that, it becomes dodgy. I didn't particularly enjoy "Satellite", "Why Can't We Be Friends", "You And I", "Nashville Snow" or "Never Met A Woman Like You". I don't know, couldn't explain it to you, but those songs just lost me. The last song, "Lucky Numbers" is a return to the first four tracks. So, here we have five good songs. Three stars. It's okay, well produced, but the songs aren't particularly strong here.
Eurythmics are one of my favorite bands. I saw them live at Red Rocks in August 1984 and again in August 1986. Both excellent shows. Dave's solo work has been uneven for the past 23 years when I look at Annie's solo work, which, to me, has been much stronger and more consistent. That's not to say that I don't like Dave's work, I do, and particularly his earlier solo work. I will still buy anything solo that he puts out though.
Like the other two reviews here state, this is straightforward rock and roll with a Nashville tint to it. My favorite pick is "Every Single Night". If I were putting together a Dave Stewart compilation it would be on it for sure. In fact, I'll go as far as to say it should be a top 40 hit as well.
Anyway, here's how "Lucky Numbers" compares to Dave's previous works:
1979 The Tourists: Haven't heard it.
1979 Reality Effect: Haven't heard it.
1980 Luminous Basement: Haven't heard it.
1981 In The Garden: Three and a Half Stars
1983 Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This): Five Stars
1983 Touch: Five Stars
1984 1984 (For The Love Of Big Brother): Four Stars
1985 Be Yourself Tonight: Five Stars
1986 Revenge: Four Stars
1987 Savage: Five Stars
1989 We Too Are One: Four Stars
1999 Peace: Three and a Half Stars
1990 Dave Stewart And The Spiritual Cowboys: Four Stars
1991 Honest: Five Stars
1994 Greetings From The Gutter: Three and a Half Stars
1998 Sly-Fi: Four Stars
2011 The Blackbird Diaries: Three and a Half Stars
2011 Superheavy (by Superheavy): Four Stars
2012 The Ringmaster General: Three Stars
2013 Lucky Numbers: Three Stars