Album Review: Rod Stewart – ‘Still the Same … Great Rock Classics of Our Time’

Singer Rod Stewart returns to rock and lends his signature sound to some of its best classics – including songs from Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bob Seger, and John Fogerty. The album, which leans more towards ballads than rock, is a great treat for Stewart fans, and is perfect if you are in the mood for some light rock by one of the music industry’s greatest performers.

The album comes on the heels of Stewart’s four volume “Great American Songbook” series – which went on to be one of the biggest selling series for the singer with more than 15 million copies sold worldwide. There is no doubt that Stewart has one of the most recognizable voices in rock music, and the singer has found a collection of songs for the album that lend well to his style.

Produced by John Shanks (winner of the 2005 “Producer of the Year” Grammy award, who has worked with such artists as Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge) and Clive Davis, ‘Still the Same’ features a lean band of top notch session musicians including Kenny Aronoff and Dean Parks. 

‘Still the Same’ kicks off with Stewart’s take on Fogerty’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” (one of the best rock songs ever written), and makes you instantly know you will love the album. Stewart follows it up with a couple of ballads (“Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” “I’ll Stand By You” and “Still the Same”) that begin to raise the question of how much rock will actually be on this “Great Rock Classics” album, but doubts are erased with the singer’s take on Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache.”

Although some of the songs might seem to not quite live up to the “classic” title (such as “Missing You”), Stewart makes sure he tackles enough of rock’s best songs (such as “Love Hurts”) so that fans will overlook some of the album’s weaker moments.

I have never been a huge Rod Stewart fan, but I must admit that I really enjoyed ‘Still the Same.’ When I heard the list of artist that Stewart was covering, I had my doubts, but the singer had me won over after hearing the first track. Stewart handles the songs with ease, and puts enough of his signature sound in each track to make them his own.

If you are a fan of Stewart or just like classic rock, I would highly recommend taking a chance on the album. While not every song is a hit, Stewart makes sure there is something for everyone, and ‘Still the Same’ won’t disappoint.

‘Still the Same … Great Rock Classics of Our Time’ is now available at Amazon. Visit the music database for more information and a complete track listing.

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