Artist:  Rick Springfield 
   Title:  Songs For The End Of The World
   Label: Frontiers Records  
 

So, Rick ' Dr. Noah Drake' (Lewis) Springfield returns to the music fold that holds him so dearly, a journey the 63 year old seems to love to take more than anything else.  Ever since his first dabblings in such bands as 'Jordy Boys', 'Wakedy Wak' and 'Zoots' ( where he had his first taste of success with ' Speak to the Sky'), music has never left his heart. Along the way, he's jumped from his acting career of recurring parts in ' Young and Restless ' and ' General Hospital ' to making albums, such as ' Tao', ' Working Class Dog ', and the brilliant 'Venus In Overdrive'.

Now in 2013, he brings us his latest release 'Songs for the End of the World', where his life-long depression expresses itself maybes a bit mischievously in parts to get his message through.  Kicking off with the hectic 'Wide Awake', his darker side shows itself quite quickly on 'I Hate Myself'.  This early Springsteen-laced track couldn't be any more uplifting if it tried, as it seems that every man and his dog are joining in with the chorus, even ending on mild laughter! I know, what the Hell!!!

'Love Screws Me Up' is another "all together now" affair, it's catchy tempo bound to have everyone singing along in unison at some point, a reminder of what we've all felt at one time or another.

Not surprisingly, Springfield sounds at his most angst-ridden during 'Depravity', the hard - rocked edge adding to the mix of an uncomfortable plea sent out by the song, the man himself spelling out the title letter by letter for full effect.  Not exactly ' 'Jessie's Girl' there then, Rick.

Weird thing is, even though these titles read out like a man at the end of his tether, the music is still a modern melodic lesson to us all, and not all the songs are as downbeat as they could be interpreted.

'Our Ship's Sinking' jumps out like an explosion, it's uptempo beat infectious to the last note played, where John Waite and Mr. Mister's Richard Page also add their talents on backing vocals to top it off!  'A Sign Of Life' just rocks like a bugger!  Yet another mega-toe tapper from his repertoire that has given success over the years, and as the staggeringly cool intro to 'My Last Heartbeat' fades away, the riffs take over and the song goes into overdrive!  You could say this is Springfield at his best, and many wouldn't argue with that, but he stands out vocally the most on the gentler tracks on this album.

'You and Me' has you hanging on his every word, that warm-sounding tone lifting the song to heights at a whim, along with  the acoustic-led 'Gabriel' that proves just how good Springfield is, and also why he should be heard a lot more often than just with his two big hits from the 1980's that the radio stations seem to have in their collection.  Don't hold your breath though!

There's no way of getting away from the fact that Rick Springfield is a class act, even now he's in his early 60's (He don't look it either!), and with 'Songs for the End of the World', he excels himself once again, raising the bar quietly but firmly for the rest to aim for.  So what's next for the man?

Ok, we've got the great new album, a list of songs many would give their right arm for, so how about coming over here and playing a few dates for the people who'd want to see you, Rick?  What's that dear, look at what? Oh, erm..... the O2 Empire Shepherds Bush in June!!! Ahem......

Review by: Robb Baldwin 

Tracklisting:

1. Wide Awake
2. Our Ship's Sinking
3. I Hate Myself
4. You And Me
5. Gabriel
6. A Sign Of Life
7. My Last Heartbeat
8. Joshua
9. Love Screws Me Up
10. I Found You
11. Depravity
12. One Way Street  
13. Let Me In (Bonus Track)
14. My DUI (Exclusive Bonus Track)
15. The Bug (Album Only i-tunes Exclusive Track)    

                    

 

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