Still The Same... Great Rock Classics Of Our Time

Rod Stewart

J-Records, 2006

REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Why, Rod, why?

I was not among those who snapped up Rod Stewart's recent Songbook albums. They sold a bundle, got a lot of press, but the curiosity was never there for me. Besides, after the first record, it just seemed like a blatant attempt to milk as much money out of the concept and public as possible (I guarantee you, there will be a fifth. It can only be a matter of time).my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

However, with Still The Same...Great Rock Classics Of Our Time, there was a slight glimmer of hope. Covers can be immensely entertaining, depending on who’s doing the interpreting, and after scanning the track list Stewart seemed to have assembled a decent collection of songs, songs that maybe he could possibly reinvent as his own.

I was wrong. These are 13 songs presented in the most bland and unoriginal way possible. Most are carbon copies of the original versions, with little or no variation to speak of, and songs like “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” lose any semblance of an edge in Stewart's vanilla incarnations.

It’s one thing to be polite. It’s something else entirely to be completely inoffensive, which in the music world translates to empty and sterile. Whatever you want to call it, Still The Same... is just that. Great pains were taken to craft these cover songs in such a way that they all end up sounding the same. That’s a huge problem. I don’t want to get confused between “The Best Of My Love” and “Still The Same.” Why? Because THEY AREN’T THE SAME SONG! 

Sorry to shout, but this makes me upset. Stewart himself is technically in good form, with his raspy voice still around, but here it lacks character. Not once did I get the feeling that Stewart was feeling this material. By the time you get half way through Still The Same... one’s convinced that Rod must have been bored out of his mind, and you can imagine how that translates to the listener. Filling out tax returns or watching Gigli surely must have been more interesting.

Ultimately, this is what kills Still The Same...Great Rock Classics Of Our Time. The production is fine and Stewart is professional, but a general sense of malaise permeates every facet of this album. No, Rod, you’re not still the same, and that’s the problem.

Rating: D

User Rating: B-



© 2006 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of J-Records, and is used for informational purposes only.