Album: Ringo Starr

Liverpool 8 (Capitol)
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The Independent Culture

Though a largely worthless exercise, it's difficult to be annoyed by Liverpool 8, the way one is with Paul McCartney's recent albums. We just don't expect anything better from Ringo, who trots out granny-charmers like "If It's Love That You Want" and "Harry's Song", his tribute to Harry Nilsson. But it is irritating when "For Love" sounds like an Oasis pastiche of a Beatles track – like learning that your drinking-water has passed through several bodies before it reaches your lips.

And a proper Gallagher rhyme, too: "Feel like I'm going under/ My heart it beats like thunder." The title track doesn't quite wield the requisite singalong appeal, while the excruciating holiday-romance fantasy "Pasodobles" is like a Jack Vettriano come to life, with its "Strangers in perfect motion/ Down by the Spanish ocean". Songs like "Give It a Try" and "Tuff Love" expound Ringo's easy-going, let's-get-along philosophy, while "RU Ready" unearths his more religious side, to a frisky hillbilly-blues arrangement of mandolin and slide guitar. But is this really indicative of EMI's new priorities, or its old failings?

Download this: 'RU Ready', 'Gone Are the Days'