Album Reviews
Band: Rock Springfield

Title: Rocket Science

Label: Frontiers Music Srl

 

'Eh, What's up Doc?'! Aw c'mon, surely someone else must've been dying to use that phrase when reviewing an album by General Hospital actor/singer Rick Springfield!! No, oh well, apologies to all offended. Anyway, now I got that off my chest, welcome to the 18th studio album, 'Rocket Science', by the man himself, and if this don't get yourr feet a-tappin' and the 'yee-haws' a-yelling, then there is definitely something wrong with your set-up!

 

Springfield tips his hat towards the country/rock side of his persona with as much enthusiasm as a bunch of Grannies on the Mecca Bingo Bus, opening his account here with the fist pumping 'Light This Party Up',  one for the 'Footloose' fans out there who love to bop about the room on their own, with leg-warmers round the ankles (yeah, I've seen the film too!), followed quickly by the uptempo country/pop/rocker 'Down', incidentally written in the middle of an ice storm on a stranded tour bus, aided by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts (check out the track 'These Days'), which shows why the song has that 'twang' surrounding it. Cool, dudes!

 

Continuing down that route is the energetic ditty 'The Best Damn Thing', full of 'whoo, whoo, whoo's' to get the blood pumping, pedal steel picking away in the background, and the main man himself sounding as if this could be the last song he ever sings, he's really giving it welly, only to get upstaged on the deep southern blues-fused rocker 'Miss Mayhem' by Buddy the Dog who barks the intro like a real pro! This one really gets under your skin and all you want to do is pull on some denim dungarees, chew on a bit 'o baccy and 'p'too' it in a spittoon! Marvelous. Keep that in mind as the fiddlemania begins to shine through in droves on 'Pay It Forward', another happy-go-lucky charmer that is impossible to stay still to, which makes you think that if he is supposedly being sardonic on this album, he's definitely making it fun along the way! You can't escape the fiddle's important input on the heartfelt love song 'Found', the  mandolin and steel pedal coming together to add some authenticity to the country vibe that once again seeps on through this smashing song, so get ready to 'doh-see-doh' your partner' as 'Crowded Solitude' jangles it's way along, happy as Larry!

 

Time for a ballad? Well, 'Let Me In' ticks all the boxes when it comes to getting the message across, Springfield's vocals at their most yearning amid the softest touches of harmonies,  yet he excels himself on the rousing 'All Hands On Deck', it's gang-like backing vocals adding a bit more 'oomph' to what is already going on around the track, sort of 'oldie worldy' based musically, seeing as the  American Civil War is the subject of this chest-thumper! Springfield hasn't forgotten how to just 'rock it up'  mind you, as 'We Connect' harks back to his brilliant 2008 album 'Venus In Overdrive', a thumping drumbeat from Jorge Palacios at the epi-centre of the track, Springfield as mean 'n moody as he has been almost as jovial throughout, and not a fiddle in sight for once!  (check out 'The Man That Never Was' from the 'Sound City' soundtrack if you really want to hear him rock out!!) Still, the album is mainly based around that country tinged element, so it's no surprise when they decide  'That One' and 'Earth To Angel' get a tinkling in the Nashville department as well, though the one track that makes an impression is '(I Wish I Had A) A Concrete Heart', a modern rock/pop-based foot-tapper that you'd think Moby had some kind of input somewhere along the line, hard to explain properly, but if you hear the 10 seconds of the song and how that continues throughout, you'll get my drift!!

 

This review may seem a wee bit lighthearted, possibly more than many would like, but blame the music most of all for that, because it is really so uplifting and gives off a feel-good vibe, even if some of the lyrics do come across slightly cynical at times, so really the best thing to do is just enjoy this very engaging album from Rick and co., and prepare yourself for some serious foot-stomping along the way!  That's All Folks!! 

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1.  Light This Party Up
2.  Down 
3.  That One
4.  The Best Damn Thing
5.  Miss Mayhem
6.  Pay It Forward
7.  Found
8.  Crowded Solitude
9.  Let Me In
10.  All Hands On Deck 
11. We Connect
12. (I Wish I Had A) Concrete Heart
13. Earth To Angel

BACK TO MENU

 All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall zine unless otherwise stated and may not be reproduced with prior written permission.