Album Releases Album Reviews

Rick Springfield – Rocket Science Review

Released by: Frontiers

Release date: 19 February 2016

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: rickspringfield.com , Facebook

 

Lineup:

Rick Springfield –  Vocals, Guitar

Siggy Sjursen – Bass

Jorge Palacios – Drums

Tim Gross – Keyboard, Guitar

George Nastos – Lead Guitar

 

Track Listing: 

01. Light This Party Up

02. Down

03. That One

04. The Best Damn Thing

05. Miss Mayhem

06. Pay It Forward

07. Found

08. Crowded Solitude

09. Let Me In

10. All Hands on Deck

11. We Connect

12. (I Wish I Had A) Concrete Heart

13. Earth to Angel

*1 Extra track only available on iTunes version: Beautiful Inside

*2 Extra tracks only available on BestBuy version: Mercy, Walkin’ In

 

Rick Springfield. If you know that name it either strikes memories of Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital or from his big music hit in the early 80’s with “Jessie’s Girl.” I don’t care about the whole acting aspect as soap opera’s aren’t my thing, but since hearing that instantly memorable song all those years ago I became a fan of his music. I didn’t follow his releases early on, but I have more than caught up and freely admit to being a fan of this, admittedly, unlikely performer from my normal fare. But really, most of his albums fall nicely into that melodic rock sound I love dearly, so it makes more sense than you think.

His new album, Rocket Science, is his 18th studio album since 1972 (bet you didn’t know he’d been making music that long, unless you’re a fan.) One of the many things I love about his music is his instantly recognizable voice, playful and quirky lyrics, and a keen sense of pop and melody that has kept me a fan for ages. All of these elements are prevalent on the new album, but (and I hate that there’s a but,) it veers a little to much into the pop country territory. I am not a fan of country at all, though if I was going to listen to it I’d rather listen to real country instead of the pop version of it. Before you get all out of hinge though, it’s not like he’s gone all Luke Bryan here. There are some chicken pickin’ style guitar licks and some steel pedal guitar, but the Aussie hasn’t gone full blown redneck (not even city boy trying to be redneck.) In fact, had he inflected more of a harder edge as he has in the past instead of this I probably would’ve loved the album much more than I did. I don’t hate it, but it is definitely not my favorite of his albums. For every track like “Light This Party Up,” “The Best Damn Thing,” and “We Connect” that have that up tempo rock flare he is known for are the forays into a different territory with tracks like “That One,” “Pay It Forward,” and “Found” that get too Southern for my tastes. I was intrigued by the Civil War era sounding “All Hands On Deck,” paying hommage to Patriotism and soldiers, even if it owes more to the song “Rocky Top” than it might realize.

I don’t hate Rocket Science. It’s actually pretty good even with the twang, but I hope that this isn’t a direction Rick is heading towards on a permanent basis, as I will be greatly disappointed. He’s still an immensely talented performer and writer as evidenced on this album; it just doesn’t work for me on all levels. Had the country stuff been considerably less (or gone) I would’ve rated this one much higher. Perhaps it will grow on me over time, but after multiple listens I’m just not loving it as much as I had hoped I would.

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: Chris 8/10

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2 thoughts on “Rick Springfield – Rocket Science Review”

  1. I have all my life from first becoming a Rick fan at around 11 years old, been a diehard Rick Springfield fan. I have seen him live at least 30 times. Just want to set the tone on that aspect.

    I would say you were very kind and diplomatic on this review. Without the country stuff, I might be able to find an 8 out of 10 ranking…. but it is so dripping in country styling that I cannot listen to it enough to have things sink in to that level. I LOATHE country… HATE… HATE… HATE… so I cannot overstate the effect. I eventually after a couple passes had to admit that I do not and will not like this album. My girlfriend is a newbie to the Springfield world and has become a big fan this past year and wants to go to all his shows since I have taken her to 3 in the past year. She agrees with me that this album is a huge disappointment. Thankfully Rick doesn’t sing with a country drawl, but musically, in the guitars and instrumentation it is way way too country for someone who hates country.

     
  2. Rick’s last 3 CD’s have been excellent – VIO & Songs for the End of the World. Anyone whos a Springfield fan will like this CD. Like most great musicians they strive to make a difference with their music and the sound usually changes as they progress through their lives and times. Just look at the Beatles who so many artists including Rick have an affinity for. I really like nearly all of the songs on this CD and enjoy playing my guitar along with them. Rick has always been impressive in concert in terms of his energy level, ability to engage and connect with his audience. He also continues to deliver strong lyrically written songs. Aside from the obvious hits on the CD (Light this Party Up, Let Me In & Down) I absolutely love Best Damn Thing, Earth to Angel and I can’t stop playing Miss Mayhem. I like the song so much I picked up one of those Eastwood Delta 6 Guitars and cant wait to jam through that song. It would have been nice to hear a couple other songs like this on the CD. The CD cover clearly ties in his love of Sci-Fi. Through & through, great sound and CD!!

     

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