Choose Love

Choose Love

5.0 1
by Ringo Starr
     
 

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Although it would seem easy enough to turn out music designed for nothing more complicated than generating smiles and urging feet to tap, most folks with that goal get tripped up somewhere along the line. Not Ringo Starr, who's spent most of the last three decades spreading good times and sunny vibes -- both of which pour readily from the grooves of Choose LoveSee more details below

Overview

Although it would seem easy enough to turn out music designed for nothing more complicated than generating smiles and urging feet to tap, most folks with that goal get tripped up somewhere along the line. Not Ringo Starr, who's spent most of the last three decades spreading good times and sunny vibes -- both of which pour readily from the grooves of Choose Love. The disc is often redolent of Ringo's past life as "the goofy Beatle" -- notably the 12-string-laced "I Do," on which he wears his Rubber Soul on his sleeve -- but that has more to do with the scope of the Fab Four's stylistic reach than any attempt to journey back in time. Instead of heading for the wayback machine, Ringo cherry-picks certain elements -- the skiffle rhythm of "Give Me Back the Beat," for instance -- and applies them to his affably simple song structures. That M.O. has kept him sailing through years of All-Starr Band lineups, partly because it's so appealing to players from across the musical spectrum. Here, Starr augments his sound with appearances by Chrissie Hynde, who turns in a sunny duet on the carnival-styled "Don't Hang Up," and steel guitar maestro Robert Randolph, who peppers the gospel workout "Oh My Lord" with roof-raising leads. At no point does Ringo rock the boat, but that's not his mission: He's there to steer fans through a smooth pleasure cruise, and Choose Love is an easy, breezy soundtrack for one of those.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There's nothing surprising, or even all that different, about Choose Love, Ringo Starr's 13th studio album: it's firmly in the tradition of his 1992 return to recording, Time Takes Time, which itself was an attempt to recreate the breezy, good-natured vibe of Starr's biggest and best album, 1973's Ringo. But where that album and the two records that followed it -- 1998's Vertical Man and 2003's Ringorama -- were star-studded affairs, the only guests here are Robert Randolph and Chrissie Hynde, who stops in for a duet on "Don't Hang Up." That means Ringo relies on his longtime collaborators Mark Hudson (who is also the record's co-producer), Gary Burr, and Steve Dudas, who form the core of his touring and recording band, as well as function as his co-writers, and by this point, they've been together nearly a decade. This is a relaxed, comfortable group, but that familiarity pays off here. Instead of sounding lazy, Starr sounds assured and confident, and he has a strong set of tunes that know how to make the best of his endearingly limited vocal range and lovable personality. The music here is well within his comfort zone -- partway between the amiable yet splashy Richard Perry productions of the early '70s and classic mid-period Beatles (the title track has plenty of direct allusions, from the "Taxman"-styled riff to a quote from "Dizzy Miss Lizzy") -- but it all works, largely because it never sounds like Ringo and the lads are straining to capture that vibe: it just seems to come naturally to them now. It also helps that Choose Love has a warm, rich sound that is far removed from the digital brightness of its two predecessors: it helps give the album a friendly aura that's hard to resist if you've ever loved Ringo. And if you've ever loved Ringo, take comfort that this album will be one of the few records of his that you can play without guilt and enjoy from start to finish. It's not just a good record for Ringo, it's just a flat-out good record.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2005
Label:
Koch Records
UPC:
0099923955023
catalogNumber:
550
Rank:
53409

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ringo Starr   Primary Artist,Organ,Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Loops
Billy Preston   Piano,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Hammond B3
John Amato   Saxophone
Gary Burr   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Jim Cox   Piano
Steve Dudas   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Gary Grant   Horn
Dan Higgins   Horn,Saxophone,Woodwind
Mark Hudson   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Harmonica,Piano,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Chrissie Hynde   Vocals
Barbara Starkey   Vocals,Voices
Robert Randolph   Guitar
Dean Grakal   Background Vocals
Mark Mirando   Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Rose Stone Choir   Background Vocals
Rose Stone Girls   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ringo Starr   Composer,Producer,Audio Production,Loop
Gary Burr   Composer,Engineer
Jim Cox   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Steve Dudas   Composer,Engineer
Mark Hudson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
George Marino   Mastering
Barbara Starkey   Cover Photo
Rose Stone   Choir Arrangement
Bruce Sugar   Engineer
Ray Charles   Author
Kevin Churko   Engineer
Dean Grakal   Composer
Tyrone Drake   Art Direction
Smohalla   Author

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