RICK SPRINGFIELD – Songs For The End Of The World

Rick Springfield - Songs For The End of The WorldIn the 80’s, Rick Springfield was huge. He made brilliant AOR albums such as Living In Oz (1983) and Rock Of Life (1988) and had chart toppers like “Jessie’s Girl”, “Love Somebody” and “Souls”. He was also nominated for four Grammy Awards and won one.  He also turned out to be a very good actor and starred in movies like Hard To Hold and Legion. But even though he kept on releasing records in the 90’s, he somehow lost his way and things were quiet in the public eye and unless you were big Springfield fan, it was like they guy hade vanished completely. But in 2008 he decided to get back to what he does best, guitar driven AOR with melodies and hooks others only could dream about and released Venus In Overdrive in 2008, an album packed to the max with just that. With an album like that, success was just around the corner and some intense touring took place. As a live artist, Rick Springfield is a giant. I had the opportunity to catch him live at Sweden Rock and that was one of the best performances I have ever seen at that festival. It certainly looked like Rick was making a big effort to get his career back on track again. But then, years went by and there was no sign of a follow up. Until one day in 2012, when the news of a new album was released.

Now, Venus In Overdrive is a hard act to follow so this 63 year old gentleman (who, by the way, looks 40 tops…) had to make sure he could come up with something that could top it, or at least match it. After just one spin of this album it’s safe to say that he will have an even harder task next time it’s time to cut a new record, because this one is nothing short of brilliant. Everything that you would want from a Rick Springfield (born Richard Lewis Springthorpe) record is there. The smooth production, the hooks, the sound and of course the songs. Yes, the songs – well, he really hit a home run with those this time around. Opener “Wide Awake” is a real smash, catchy as could be, with the guitars cranked up, this is a hit to be and so is “One Ship’s Sinking”, a fantastic tune with a chorus that sticks to your brain like glue. “I Hate Myself” is so good it hurts – what a refrain! It’s a future live killer and must be a single, “A Sign Of Life” is pure melodic heaven, “My Last Heartbeat” is a hard rocker with a chorus and a melody to die for, “Joshua” is great and classic Rick Springfield and “Love Screws Me Up” is such a killer and somebody like Bryan Adams would sell his mother for a song like that. But there’s more here, “Depravity” sticks out like a sore thumb here with its dark and heavy foundation and catchy melody, “One Way Street” is a marvelous kick ass rocker and “Lust” grooves like crazy and reminds me a bit of The Hooters most swinging times.

This is a phenomenal album and I won’t think twice before I appoint this record his finest piece of music to date. The album is a bit more driven by loud guitars than usual, but that only serves the music right. Every song here is either brilliant or just very good. Any Rick Springfield fan or lover of AOR / melodic rock should get a copy of this record or they will miss out on something great. If the end of the world is coming, this could be the soundtrack. At least we would go out with a big smile on our faces.

Jon Wilmenius (9/10)

Tracklist:
01 Wide Awake
02 Our Ship’s Sinking
03 I Hate Myself
04 You & Me
05 Gabriel
06 A Sign of Life
07 My Last Heartbeat
08 Joshua
09 Love Screws Me Up
10 I Found You
11 Depravity
12 One Way Street
13 Let Me In
14 Jet
15 Lust
16 Her Body Makes Vows

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