Perhaps better known for his work with other artists than his solo output, Dave Stewart‚??s been a music business workhorse.
He‚??s probably best known as the writer/producer/musical figurehead behind Annie Lennox‚??s voice in the Eurythmics. Stewart‚??s also famously penned Tom Petty‚??s 1985 hit ‚??Don‚??t Come Around Here No More‚?Ě among many others, and shadowed mid-career guidance to artists like Bono and Jon Bon Jovi - Stewart‚??s gift for musical direction is unparalleled.
Here, he balances powerful guest spots with his own mostly blue-eyed soul vision to present a veritable resume of sonic craftsmanship.
From Joss Stone‚??s reckless testifying on the bombastic ‚??I Got Love,‚?Ě to the warmth and whispered glow of the Allison Krauss duet ‚??Drowning In The Blues,‚?Ě Stewart melds his personal tastes to the abilities of his collaborators with precision and inventiveness.
Look no further for evidence of this than on the Orianthi-accompanied cut, ‚??Girl In A Catsuit,‚?Ě where Stewart‚??s penchant for easygoing, mid-tempo grooves collides in a deliciously violent discharge with the young shredder‚??s stratospheric guitar licks.
Stewart‚??s no slouch sans big-name accompaniment. His gentile solo-piano ballad ‚??You Took My Love‚?Ě aches with the same heartsick quality that made Bob Dylan‚??s ‚??Time Out of Mind‚?Ě so memorably love-scarred. His tongue-in-cheek ‚??New Song For Nashville‚?Ě takes on the lack of whisky-hearted substance in contemporary Country music (‚??I like the way I‚??m feeling here, kind of goes with my tattoos‚?Ě).
Getting by with a little help from his friends but still able to steal the spotlight, Dave Stewart proves why he‚??s one of the most talented of musical chameleons.
RATING: W W W W Dave Stewart ‚??The Ringmaster General‚?? - Mark Uricheck, Weekender Correspondent