Y Not review by Ringo Starr

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  • Released: Jan 12, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 7.2 (27 votes)
Ringo Starr: Y Not
1

Sound — 8
Ringo Starr, still quite active in the music business at 69 years of age, could have taken it easy in his golden years. The iconic drummer for The Beatles has certainly made his mark on the music world although not necessarily the brainchild behind most of The Beatles' catalog and his latest album makes it apparent that he still has a passion to create. Y Not is Starr's first attempt at producing his own full-length since embarking on his solo career back in 1970, a fairly impressive feat for someone who's been a musical staple for such a lengthy period of time. Starr has enlisted the help of a good number of well-respected musicians (including the likes of Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, and Ben Harper), and although those individuals don't ensure that Y Not is a full-fledged legendary album, the results tend to be intriguing at the very least. Y Not has been described in recent press releases as his most personal album yet, and there certainly is an aspect where Starr is relaying his own personal views on love and life. While his previous album Liverpool 8 did relay more of a storyteller's approach, Y Not leans more to the emotional state of the drummer/singer. Musically, Starr includes quite a few styles/genres throughout the course of the album, but most of the time his somewhat monotone and/or consistent vocal delivery does make it all oddly cohesive. The opener Fill In The Blanks starts out with somewhat of an ELO vibe (the more rock-oriented side of the band) and quickly morphs into blues mode thanks to the addition of Joe Walsh's slide. The few times that Paul McCartney pops up on the album isn't even necessarily the most memorable. His bass skills are utilized on Peace Dream, but it's actually the little guitar flourishes underneath the verses and choruses that are the standout. Starr and McCartney are also featured in the duet Walk With You, and while the song itself is slightly uninspired, the still smooth-as-silk delivery of McCartney makes it a worthwhile listen. Perhaps the most unexpected and refreshing musical arrangements come in the title track, which merges a Prince-like synth line and an Eastern Indian influence. It was surprising enough to hear funk in a Ringo Starr song, but it was doubly shocking to hear the introduction of Tina Sugandh, who delivers traditional Indian chants and tabla work. Y Not is strengthened by audio engineer and keyboardist Bruce Sugar's impeccable work, and even when Ringo's songwriting isn't the strongest or most engaging, there is usually enough happening within the instrumentation to liven the duller moments.

Lyrics — 7
Ringo Starr conveys a generally positive message on Y Not, with the vast majority of the songs revolving around peace and love. At times it feels slightly trite, not necessarily because of the message, but because of the lyrical phrasing. In Peace Dream (a track that seems to pay homage to John Lennon's Imagine) Starr sings, Last night I had a peace dream; You know how real dreams can be; The world was a better place for you and me. This fairly predictable rhyme scheme does leave a bit to be desired, but at the same time it seems to fit with Ringo's personality as a frontman.

Overall Impression — 7
Ringo Starr's style regardless of what musical genre his dabbles in is an acquired taste. While there are some Beatles-esque elements, they are still few and far between. The imprint of Starr's supporting musicians is usually the driving force of Y Not, and that's actually a huge plus. Each of the 10 tracks on Y Not has a distinct sound, whether it be bluegrass (Walk With You), soul (the duet with Joss Stone, Who's Your Daddy), or blues (Can't Do It Wrong). It's not usually Ringo himself that is the selling point, but the former Beatle still gets points for putting together an impressive list of musicians that take run-of-the-mill songs to the next level.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Harvey_Danger
    BassFishin wrote: Throwing 'fail' in your comments sort of automatically makes whatever you have to say void of respect. You realise this, right? I definitly want to give this a listen. Ringo Starr is under rated.
    Not nearly as much spelling "definitely" incorrectly. Voted 1 for being a Ringo release. He's Marge Simpson's favorite Beatle, you know.
    .6.bullets.
    -xCaMRocKx- wrote: Wonder if he'll sign copies for fans.
    FFFUUUUU- That aside, I think his celebrity status has gone to his head. :\ Have yet to hear the album though. Although, I loved his character/personality/whatever in the Hard Day's Night movie. and Yellow Submarine.
    Sam Wotrey
    -xCaMRocKx- wrote: Wonder if he'll sign copies for fans.
    Obviously not, because of his grandeur celebrity status.
    IbanezMayhem674
    Spelling realize wrong makes everyone see your sad attempted to be sophisticated you realize this right? As for the album, meh. All I can say.
    BassFishin
    Throwing 'fail' in your comments sort of automatically makes whatever you have to say void of respect. You realise this, right? I definitly want to give this a listen. Ringo Starr is under rated. Still, George Harrison was my favorite Beatle.
    Time Seller
    Just like all Ringo's other albums, this consists of 90% tripe and 10% failjuice.
    IanThornley
    Does anyone know what song Ben Harper sings on? I've listened to the entire CD and can't hear Ben's voice anywhere. I've even googled and looked at Harper's official site. No where does it say WHICH song he contributed. Help?
    JY-Rasputin
    everytime I hear his name I think of the UG list of biggest fails of the decade :'] The picture they drew of him cracks me up everytime I think of it.
    megaironpriest
    I'm sure we can think of many reason's "Y not" to buy this. I'm still going to give it a listen because I love Ringo's voice
    rush4life
    This thing is god awful. Peace dream is just Imagine redone in "Ringo" style, which is to say, removing all semblance of quality songwriting. Even the cover art looks like it was made in MS Paint.
    oxymorcide
    Sewe Dae wrote: Which label released this? Because this is probably THEIR album. I wonder how much Ringo himself actually contributed, if anything. Even the name "Y Not" has pretentiousness written all over it, like anybody doubts that the idea, the image, the songs came from a board meeting that was more interested in the "target audience" and their money than music.
    Exactly, real disappointment.
    Sewe Dae
    Which label released this? Because this is probably THEIR album. I wonder how much Ringo himself actually contributed, if anything. Even the name "Y Not" has pretentiousness written all over it, like anybody doubts that the idea, the image, the songs came from a board meeting that was more interested in the "target audience" and their money than music.
    b4t3man
    IbanezMayhem674 wrote: Spelling realize wrong makes everyone see your sad attempted to be sophisticated you realize this right? As for the album, meh. All I can say.
    Assuming you're talking about BassFishin, his spelling of "realise" was correct. America is the only place that spells it with a "z".