Top positive review
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The 15 track Deluxe version is the one to invest in, in my opinion
on 16 May 2013
I am not sure why the decison was taken to release two versions of this album and confuse the world!
I have now received the correct album from Amazon, but, at least I have had the opportunity to compare the two!
My original 4* review (copied below) stated that I felt something was missing from Rod's TIME (12 track), apart from the three bonus tracks which you get with this deluxe version, namely:
13. Corrina Corrina (Harmonica : Jimmy Wood)
15. Love Has No Pride (Backing Vocal : Angela Michael)
For the extra money, you also get an enhanced booklet with an explanatory 4-page 'blurb' at the front and, I think, reading this information gives a better understanding of the man and the crossroads he felt he was at, e.g.:
'....My assumption was that I was finished as a songwriter. It had always been difficult, and then, at some point in the 1990s, my confidence took a knock and it became impossible. I was thinking too hard about what people expected from me. And I was thinking about whether I felt comfortable any more, delivering whatever it was people expected from me...I was trapped down all sorts of unhelpful mental alleys, basically. And eventually I convinced myself that I had made the best of the little bit of talent for songwriting that I had been given.
But now it was over - time to move on......"
(nb the words for the extra 3 tracks are not included in the booklet)
Far too harsh on yourself, Rod, but it made me listen to the whole album again and it felt different; the words and the emotion made more sense. Indeed....TIME moves on, but it is on your side!
Now I have it all and the more you listen, the more it definitely grows on you!
'TIME', the 12 track version.
This is an emotional album; a roller-coaster. It is up & down; it is powerful at times, simply moving at others with a mix of ballads - the slow, the lively, the occasional Celtic-ish, folky overtone.
On the first listen, I wondered if I had heard some of it before, somewhere. Often I could predict the words, but here we have eleven brand new tracks.
As a rule, I try not to compare with other albums from the same favourite singer, and as Rod has had such a diverse portfolio of styles, there are bound to be some you like and some you don't. I have followed Mr Stewart since the days of Maggie May - that gravelly style of voice you either love or hate, a bit like Bonnie Tyler.
It took some years before I analysed or even understood the story behind that song, but it is mentioned on track 2 - 'Can't stop me now', as a memory of a not particularly great milestone in his life but he stands defiant nevertheless.
There is a hint that this album is a thank you for the good life; maybe even a dedication - to whom? I am not entirely sure.
There may be a clue in some of the lyrics?
'The finest woman that I've ever known' 'Six foot one with the golden eyes. Calculated rhythm running through them thighs........'
'Cover & principle photography for the CD booklet: Penny Lancaster' - ahh!
The full track list on the regular version, which comes complete with a 14-page booklet containing all the words, if you wish to sing along:
1. She Makes Me Happy
2. Can't Stop Me Now
3. It's Over
4. Brighton Beach
5. Beautiful Morning
6. Live The Life
7. Finest Woman
9. Picture In A Frame (*original - Tom Waits)
10. Sexual Religion
11. Make Love To Me Tonight
12. Pure Love
This album is good. Rod has definitely still got what it takes at 68 years - looks and voice, albeit a bit less gravelly, perhaps. It just lacks something I have yet to put my finger on. It could just be familiarity - like a cherished pair of carpet slippers.
For me, to date, the best tracks are 7 & 8 which is akin to being on the big dipper in emotional terms, 10 and the final one, which has almost ALW 'musical' potential.
It is worth the money, in my opinion, (although I do wish that I had had the correct deluxe edition, delivered, with the three bonus tracks). It is unlikely to displace my lifetime favourite on the days I am feeling down....but I think it could grow on me over time, if you'll pardon the pun!
In the meantime I am off to order Rod : The Autobiography to try and understand this apparently sincere man better!