British musician Rod Stewart has released his twenty-ninth studio album, Another Country, via Capitol Records. The 15-track album (including 3 deluxe version bonus tracks) spans one hour and was produced by Rod Stewart and Kevin Savigar.
In a YouTube interview, Stewart opened up about his songwriting on the album:
I'm enjoying the process of songwriting, probably for the first time in my life. I used to hate it when I was with The Faces, and all the way through the '80s and '90s. That's the only part of the business that felt like a job.
Stewart also discussed his goals while making Another Country:
To try and be a bit more expansive with the titles of the songs and the subjects I’m singing about. Just to better it — I mean, that’s all you can really do, and one of the most important things for me is to satisfy myself. In that way, I think I satisfied a few friends that still buy my albums.
Riding high on his 2013 album, Time, Stewart continues to craft storytelling lyrics with songs that range from Celtic influences in "Love Is" and "Another Country" to bluesy rock like "Please" and "The Drinking Song." Stewart even throws his hat into reggae for "Love And Be Loved."
Stewart opens up on "A Friend For Life," a heartfelt ballad with orchestral flourishes and acoustic accompaniment. "Every Rock'N'Roll Song To Me" is a fun number where Rod name drops classic rock songs set to electric guitar and harmonica.
The final bonus track is Python Lee Jackson's 1972 hit "In A Broken Dream," which Stewart originally recorded in 1969. It's somewhat of a hidden gem that has seen a resurgence after being sampled on A$AP Rocky's 2015 hit, "Everyday."
Over the long haul, Another Country may not rank up there with Stewart's best work, but it may be one of his most versatile. There are "rock" songs and "pop" songs on the album for his fans who enjoy those sides of him, but Rod shows that he can incorporate many other genres into his music. He's a forceful singer, but he doesn't sound forced when he pushes his creativity outside the box.
The problem with the album is that it might be too all-over-the-place, not holding together as a cohesive work. Especially songs like "Walking In The Sunshine," "We Can Win," and "Batman Superman Spiderman," which are so sweet and poppy that they feel like they'd be better served in a Disney movie soundtrack.
Rod Stewart will begin a residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas beginning in March, 2016. For the latest music, news, and tour dates from Rod Stewart, check out his Zumic artist page.