★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Oh Ringo, you were never my favorite Beatle. But I did love you.
“What’s My Name,” Ringo Starr’s 20th studio album, has some, uh, interesting moments. Some worked well, like the consistently solid drumlines. Others didn’t, like the autotune.
Why did a Beatle feel the need to use autotune, you might ask? Beats me. Ringo, just because you weren’t John or Paul doesn’t mean you were bad. Stay away from the bad autotune, please.
The autotuned song was “Money” and deflated my image of Ringo as a peace-loving hippy. It felt weird for a voice that sounded like Ringo to sing about wanting money more than anything else. Whatever happened to money can’t buy happiness? Also, as far as I know, Ringo Starr is not broke by a long shot. Come on, man.
Not to fear, the album was not a complete flop. “Magic” is a nice filler and one of the better songs on the album. The rest of the tracks should have followed suit.
“Grow Old With Me” was written by John Lennon. Listening to it, I realized the pain the surviving members of the Beatles will live with for the rest of their lives. You hear a friend living his life for a best friend who never got the chance to grow old with the love of his life. It was the best and most authentic moment of the entire album by a long shot.
The album is rock and roll without really being rock and roll. It has all the aspects rock needs: drum, electric guitar riffs, backing vocals. But for some reason it sounds like a weird conglomerate of rock and pop without being super successful at combining the two.
“Send Love Spread Peace” was the most Ringo song on the album and I loved every second. Give me barefoot, peace-sign Ringo, not an autotune-crazed, money-loving stranger.
It’s also worth mentioning that Ringo doesn’t have a single songwriting credit on this album. This is the man who wrote “Yellow Submarine” and “Octopus’s Garden.” We know Ringo has the chops to write cool, quirky music so it’s confusing why we didn’t get that. All we’re left with is songs written by Ringo wannabes, even though the real thing was right there.
Based on this album, it seems like Ringo still feels like he has something to prove. Ringo, if you’re reading this: You don’t.