Across its 13 tracks, the album features a star-studded list of guest musicians, including drummers Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, John Mellencamp), Josh Freese (Devo, The Replacements, Perfect Circle), Tony Brock (The Babys, Rod Stewart), Nate Morton (house drummer on The Voice), and more.
When I recently spoke with Sykes he told me that, “the inspiration for the new album came as a result of writing a bunch of songs on the new Babys album (including the first single “I See You There”), as well as just having so much material of my own.” He continued, “I figured that Babys fans, as well as classic rock fans, might start looking me up, so I wanted to actually record a full length album. The name Classic New Rock comes from the fact that most of my influences are classic rock bands, like The Beatles, Big Star, The Who, Badfinger, etc. So, I thought it was a title, and a sound, that conveys classic rock, but also, an album that sounds like today.”
One of Sykes’ favorite tracks on the album is “Thats American Life.” According to him, “its a big star kind of vibe. Lyrically, its sort of a nod to the underdog. Anything can happen at anytime. It’s one of the great things about living the American Life.”
Another standout is “When Life Goes Right.” “It has some interesting chord changes,” said Sykes. “Lyrically, it paints a basic picture of what it feels like when you get on a good run. I spend a lot of time on lyrics, and I hope whoever listens to my album thinks that I am a strong lyricist.”
One of my favorite songs on Sykes’ album is “He Never Cried,” which is the lone track that he didn’t write. According to Sykes, “this is a song about having a father who has trouble showing love. It was written in Nashville, and probably can be on a country album. Maybe someday it will be.”
“Hide” is another strong track that was clearly influenced by The Beatles. “It’s a song about getting to a dark place, and asking someone, how deep will you go, to try to find me, and help me get back the mojo,” said Sykes.
If you’re a fan of rock music, especially classic rock, you can’t go wrong with Joey Sykes’ Classic New Rock. It’s a terrific collection of melodic music that’s brimming with catchy hooks and well-written lyrics. This album is currently available on Joey Sykes’ website for purchase.