Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kneejerk: Rod Stewart – Phil Collins

Welcome to the latest edition of KNEEJERK, where we preview some new releases and give our short, "kneejerk" reaction...

Rod Stewart “Fly Me To The Moon: The Great American Songbook Volume V”

The resilient, forever young Rod Stewart is back again to serenade us yet another chapter of the Great American Songbook. This is the fifth one to be exact and you’re probably thinking what I am thinking…WHEN WILL IT END? There is no disputing Stewart is a pillar in the classic rock world and even put out some decent stuff in the 80s and early 90s, but his trashing of the Great American Songbook has gone on far too long. I have the same problem with volume V (!) that I have with the other four – his gravelly voice is simply not suited to the crooner genre. Would you wash your car with a Brillo pad? Use a hoof rasp to file your fingernail? Use sandpaper to wipe your eyeglasses clean? This time around he is adrift on “Beyond The Sea”, steps all over “I Get A Kick Out Of You”, and growls like a werewolf on “Moon River”. A part of me is happy that Stewart has been able to reinvent himself to remain commercially viable, but please please…somebody fly him to the moon.

Phil Collins “Going Back”

Perhaps taking a cue from Rod Stewart, Phil Collins takes a stab at covering classic Motown tunes on his latest, “Going Back”. Not an unreasonable idea considering that his cover of “You Can’t Hurry Love” (originally performed by The Supremes) conquered the chart back in 1981 and helped launch his solo career. The instrumentation on “Going Back” is of high quality, but as soon as Collins sings you’ll wish they kept it to instrumentals. What happened to his voice? Most of this sounds like Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing Motown. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost think Collins was joking. But seriously…you only need to listen to his near laughable cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything‘s Alright)” to see what I mean. Collins also butchers “Heatwave”, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”, and, sadly, much more. “Going Back” is an unfortunate addition to an otherwise outstanding discography.