Music Review: Rod Stewart’s “Time” Has Arrived
Rod Stewart’s first album of new material in nearly 20 years is here. Considering the raspy rocker recently released his memoir, Rod: The Autobiography, the album’s title, Time, is appropriate. During his time, Stewart has sold hundreds of millions of albums, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice and won a Grammy.
Time is a solid effort by Stewart that every fan should check out. While it’s not perfect, the majority of the album is very good. Below is my track-by-track review:
She Makes Me Happy
- With an infectious chorus and a joyous vocal, this sets the tone of what’s to come. While it has a modern sound, the violins and mandolin give it that classic Stewart sound fans have come to love.
Can’t Stop Me Now
- The shoe-stomping beat and visual lyrics of this song makes it similar to “Rhythm of My Heart.” Being that it’s about Stewart’s struggle to become a successful musician, it’s an inspirational message that’s sure to resonate with many people.
- This is my favorite song on Time. I’m a sucker for ballads, and this is as good as it gets. The lyrics are about Stewart going through a divorce and the pain that came with it. His voice sounds great on this track and the chorus is haunting. This is one I could listen to again and again. It’s that good.
- According to Stewart, this is the one that started it all; it made him realize he could still write a quality song. It’s an extremely mellow, acoustic number with beautiful lyrics. It’s very different from the previous songs but still a worthy addition to the album.
- Having bought Stewart’s Christmas album, I was granted a free download of this song months ago. However, it’s been remixed since then. Now it includes more guitar, additional drums, and the vocals have been adjusted a bit. Regardless of the changes, this song is fantastic. It’s easily one of the happiest pieces of music I’ve ever heard.
Live The Life
- This is a nice, mid-tempo number that’s perfectly suited for Stewart’s voice. The chorus is simple, positive and enjoyable. And the song sounds as if it could have easily fit on one of his classic albums from the 1970s.
- This song reminds me of “Hot Legs” with horns. It’s sung with gusto, the subject matter is a woman and the lyrics are pretty straight forward. But unlike “Hot Legs,” it’s not very good. It’s easily the weakest song on the album.
- “Time” is a soulful ballad featuring rich harmonies, solid guitar work and a great vocal by Stewart. This song gets the album back on track after the forgettable “Finest Woman.”
Picture In a Frame
- Any time Stewart covers Tom Waits, you’re in for something special, and this song doesn’t disappoint. It’s a heartfelt, piano-driven song with gospel undertones. Simply beautiful.
- For fans of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and Rod Stewart’s 1980s material, this song is for you. It’s an up-tempo song that’s begging to be remixed into a dance track. With a catchy hook, a pulsing beat and a sexy sax solo, it’s one of the most memorable songs on the album and worth revisiting “over and over again.”
Make Love to Me Tonight
- Stewart has spoken a few times about wanting to record a country album and this song reflects that. Between the hand-clapping, fiddle and twangy vocal, I started to imagine Stewart singing the song in overalls on the porch of a farmhouse. But don’t take this the wrong way, it’s a wonderful song. And I think he’d do a terrific job with a country album. We’ll just have to wait and see if it comes to fruition.
- This heartfelt, piano-laden number closes out the standard version of the album. The orchestration on this song is gorgeous, especially the bridge, and despite its melancholic mood, “Pure Love” is a beautiful way to cap off Stewart’s long-awaited return to songwriting.
- Considering how the blues influenced Stewart’s music as a youth, it’s fitting that the first bonus track is a cover song in this vein. It’s simple, bluesy and it features some nice harmonica work throughout.
- “Legless” is another original song by Stewart, and it’s a fun one. While it’s not brilliant, I’d argue that it’s better than “Finest Woman” and that it should have been included on the standard version of the album.
Love Has No Pride
- The “deluxe” version of the album ends with this signature Linda Ronstadt song. It’s a decent number, but it pales in comparison to the original material on Time.
Below is the electronic press kit (EPK) for Time and a concert Rod Stewart recently performed at The Troubadour: