Release date: Jan. 31, 2012
Record label: HIP-O Records/UMe
Official website: http://www.ringostarr.com/
The buzz: The perennial fourth banana when it comes to post-Beatles output, Starr hasn't had much success with his solo efforts in the last few decades—though not for lack of trying. Now on his 17th, the former drummer seems to be attempting to straddle the polar ends of his career; the album's title is a nod at his third and most successful solo release, 1973's "Ringo," which featured performances from the other three Scousers.
The verdict: Starr stacked the deck with guests on this album, too—the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, assorted former Eagles—but ultimately, he can neither conjure up the magic of the original "Ringo" nor the relevance hinted at by the year in the album title. The result is a rather limp nine tracks, including two rereleases from previous solo albums and a cover of Buddy Holly's "Think It Over." We weren't expecting much in the way of substance, so let's not spend too long bemoaning lyrics that point out that England is drizzly. There are some charming-in-their-clunky-way songs in there; the autobiographical "In Liverpool" is upbeat and even winningly catchy, with "ooh la la"s backing the chorus, though it leaves the listener knowing less about the Fab Four's background than at song's start. "Rock Island Line" is similarly upbeat, and "Think It Over" is a passable cover, but for the most part the tracks sound like they're trapped in some limbo between the the '60s and now. Ringo 2000 and late.
Did you know? Starr is currently the only Beatle not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on his own.