Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE checks in with the following:
Some things are reassuringly constant and, thankfully, Rick Springfield is one. Almost forty years since he began his career and he's still producing new original soft rock songs which those that have always loved him will love.
Rick, of course, has an army of devoted fans, (one who over enthusiastically rugby tackled him recently during his concert walkabout) and the album is going to please them immensely. However, one of the likeable things about Rick is that he always keeps it real. His songs are often full of gritty realities about life and relationships and he refuses to let the adulation go to his head.
Like any great creative Rick's songs are full of light and dark and we get both on this album. The opener is a great party song "Light this party up'. It's lighter in tone than a lot of Rick's material and, as it's instantly accessible, a great candidate for the first single for mainstream radio, and, as such, a good choice. However, Rick wouldn't be Rick if he didn't analyse and go deeper. A lot of his songs are based on introspection and emotions and that is a good reason why his songs appeal so strongly to a female audience and that's a great asset. Despite wishing he had a 'Concrete Heart', Rick described this album as one of his most positive ever, and even though it's full of confessions and regrets, lines like 'the deepest cuts will make you who you are' on 'Down' bring a level of positivity to life's lessons which is, perhaps new or more pronounced than on other albums. 'That One' is about going for beauty over substance and what happens when that decision comes home to roost. Once again he takes the conclusion that he'll choose better next time again seeing the whole thing in a positive light. The song leads into the celebration of 'The Best Damn Thing' about a better choice, this time the lesson is that while the relationship is not without problems, gratitude and appreciation for what you have is the key. "Found' is similar in theme. Maturity seeps from every pore these songs are catchy as hell in that understated way Rick does so well. Most of the songs are about relationships or girls, again a winner for his target market and what is most fascinating, especially for females. 'The Change of a line in "Let Me in' from an original version from "I don't think this girl's in love' to "I sure hope this girl's in love' and the line " 'I believe in miracles' show a healthy mind shift which is lovely to see.
Finally, Rick is clearly a thinker and eastern religious thought and philosophy also appear, as it has done in his earlier work, e.g. Tao, but again with a new hopeful approach. So 'Pay Forward' is about what we can give back with an attitude of plenty for the greater good of all. "Crowded Solitude' picks up the theme of gratitude and making the best of it all, even if the world seems to be going to hell. "We Connect' is about humanity pulling together for the greater good. In "Earth to Angel' he talks about finding happiness inside and asks 'What is it all for if we don't have a good time?' None of the appeal of Rick's former material is lost with this more positive, inclusive and greater vision. This is Rick, but a new improved version, isn't that what life is about?
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com