Oh Ringo, we meet again two years later.
For those of you that have followed Consequence of Sound since its inception over two years ago, you may have recalled the Bar Rock 101 review of his previous album Liverpool 8. Specifically on that record, Mr. Starr and his lovely lads dealt all of the subject matter related directly to his glory days in The Beatles, as far as singing about the once great Shea Stadium and his tenure with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Flashing forward to two years later, Starr and Co. bask and explore on his fifteenth release, Y Not. While not much has changed, Starr and the gang offer a nice batch of new tunes with some old friends around the campfire. Oh, and Ringo is still talking about his days with The Beatles…does that ever get old?
Y Not kicks off with a little bar rock number dubbed “Fill In The Blanks”, which sees the former Beatle and former Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh with friends casually jam on some lazy Sunday barbecue blues. While it’s nothing completely awe-inspiring, Starr seems to be at his happiest in years, jaunting away with the band and having a good time (especially with this year’s Super Bowl just a mere few days away). Following the blues rocker are the John Lennon tribute “Peace Dream” (featuring Sir Paul McCartney on bass), “The Other Side Of Liverpool”, which talks about The Beatles’ early days, and the violin-drenched duet with McCartney “Walk With You.” Ringo is Ringo, after all, and on all of these cuts, he sounds great with what he does. The tunes themselves are average at best, but the soul exists in each little piece, much like slivers for the taking. “Walk With You” is a good choice for the lead-off single, as it reunites the two surviving Beatles for a truly beautiful ballad.
The rest of the album trades off with silly rockers and somber ballads, just like its recent counterpart Liverpool 8 did. However, the album’s best songs are “Everybody Wins” (a re-recording of a 1992 B-Side) and the hypnotic Richard Marx co-written “Mystery Of The Night”. Starr’s vocals shine well here, and with a little technological production from the Beatle himself (his first self-produced record), the songs are brilliantly mixed with enough sophistication to please any music lover.
While the album ends with the goofy “Who’s Your Daddy”, Starr calls it a day with his jam-along friends. It’s a good record to put on during this year’s game without a doubt. Fun, nostalgic, and never taking itself too seriously, Y Not is one of the former Beatles’ stronger outputs in recent years. Starr’s uncanny ability to craft lovable pop music and bar rock boogies is unmatched. “Why not?” the former Beatles asks. Watch and learn, or rather… listen and learn.