Dave Stewart has been a busy man recently, returning with his third solo record in as many years, Lucky Numbers. One half of the now-defunct pop rock duo Eurythmics, the 61 year old shows no signs of slowing down, sounding just as polished as ever with his new album.
No stranger to collaborations, Stewart has enlisted the talents of several artists for his new album, including country and pop superstars Martina McBride and Vanessa Amorosi.
With the help of Martina McBride’s guest vocals, the opening track Every Single Night sets the tone for the rest of the album. The pop-based tune infused with heavier rock and roll guitar riffs suggests that the album will display a relatively eclectic nature full of emotion and energy.
The album takes a jazzy turn with Drugs Taught Me a Lesson, featuring Vanessa Amorosi before they have some fun with How to Ruin a Romance, which is somewhat reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Women.
Stewart sounds a bit like U2’s Bono on the ballad What’s Wrong With Me, a blend of melancholy lyrics and vocals against a relatively upbeat piano backdrop. This track is made stronger by the special guest appearance by The Ringmaster’s Choir and some stellar guitar riffs, taking it from a good to great song.
The first solo song by Stewart on the album comes in the track Satellite, a classic rock track featuring guitar work which would make Hendrix proud. This is one of the album’s highlights, proving that the singer-songwriter still has a lot left to give even after so long in the business.
Hidden towards the end of the album is a beautiful collaboration with Karen Elson, Nashville Snow. A simple yet elegant duet, this is a slow and romantic tune that displays both voices wonderfully. The deep masculinity of Stewart’s voice is balanced by Elson’s femininity.
One Step Too Far takes on a country-pop style featuring harmonicas and story-telling lyrics (“I saw my life flash in front of me/ That’s not an easy thing to see”). The song is full of energy and rhythm and something which wouldn’t have felt out of place in the 70’s country-rock-pop era.
The title track Lucky Numbers is reserved until last, featuring Holly Quin Rah in an upbeat, pop-rock infused gem. A Eurythmics rhythm style tune including synth beats and funky guitars, Stewart’s voice is smooth as he sings with Holly Quin Rah in between some killer riffs and instrumental solos.
Overall the album is solid and fun to listen to, appealing to older and younger fans alike. Stewart’s experience shows in both his vocal and instrumental control, as well as his choices in collaborative guests. Mixing classic and more modern musical styles, Stewart can pride himself on another impressive solo effort.
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