Artist: Rick Springfield 
   Title: Venus In Overdrive
   Label: Angelmilk Records

‘Dr’ Rick Springfield returns after a 5 year break with his latest album ‘Venus In Overdrive‘, which is full of top drawer pop/rock songs that will have his fans drooling over. 

After the moody ‘Shock/Denial/Anger’, it was going to be interesting to see exactly where things were going here, but he hasn’t let anyone, as well as himself down, though I must admit his record company are playing it safe with the first single ‘What’s Victoria’s Secret?‘, or should that be ‘Jessie’s Girl‘  part 2, as it’s almost a carbon copy of his most well known hit, the soft strummed guitar intro and foot tapping drumbeat, before the album then settles into a range of songs that have different styles and influences about them. 

Title track ‘Venus In Overdrive‘ is built around a reggae/rock vibe, accompanied by a gutsy guitar riff on the chorus, with Springfield sounding almost angry whilst singing, making the song feel quite personal for him.

There are inklings of an English influence on ‘One Passenger’ and ‘Oblivious‘ respectively, the first full of driving guitars and staggered drumming surrounded by echoed harmonies, where the second is a classy atmospheric ballad that explodes into life at each chorus, so maybes he’s been listening to Coldplay in the past, though he’s done it better and no doubt without the attitude of head up his own hint-end!!  

Still, it’s the rockier songs where he sounds more at home with, and you won’t get any better than ‘3 Warning Shots’, a gem of a song that has everything you want, all hard driving, raunchy guitars and drums alike, and it wouldn’t be surprising if one of the top bands pick up on it and do a cover version, it’s that good. 

Things get turned on it’s head when ’God Blinked (Swing it Sister)’ and its big band sound shoots itself out the speakers! You can tell he’s really enjoying himself here amongst what can only be described as a musical commotion of the finest order, wiping away any memories of the severe depression he apparently suffered in the mid 80’s, and it takes a few seconds to realise you’re listening to the same album you put on in the first place! 

With the fairground sounding intro, ‘She’ has a psychedelic groove, touches of megaphone vocals splashed around here and thus keeping the song interesting, as he does on  ‘Nothing Is Ever Lost’, a jingly-jangly guitar based slow burner of only 1 minute 40 that doesn’t really do anything but fill a gap near the end of the album.

It’s hard to believe that it took only 32 days to record the album which is no mean feat these days, and puts to shame those bands etc… who take months and even years in some cases (ahem), so it’s hats off to Mr. Springfield for that as well as giving us a top quality album that should get the thumbs up all round, and hopefully has the success it deserves.

Review by: Bob

Tracklisting:

  1. What's Victoria's Secret?
  2. I'll Miss That Someday
  3. Venus In Overdrive
  4. One Passenger
  5. Oblivious
  6. 3 Warning Shots
  7. Time Stand Still
  8. God Blinked (Swing It Sister)
  9. Mr. PC
10. She
11. Nothing Is Ever Lost
12. Saint Sahara 
13. Who Killed Rock N' Roll
                  

 

All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall Zine unless otherwise stated.