October 17, 2009
J Records
Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, Album Rock

Album Review

Continuing his stroll through pop's back pages, Rod Stewart moves on from the "Great Rock Classics of Our Time" and dives into the Soulbook, shorthand for all the great Motown and soul songs that still are in heavy rotation on oldies radio well into the new millennium. Apart from an oddly funkified spin of Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World" and a version of Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" that illustrates just how much range he's lost over the years, Rod doesn't spend much time with the soul and blues singers so influential on him, choosing instead to run through a bunch of Motown hits -- a full six of the 13 songs here are from the Motor City -- adding a couple of smooth soul hits from the early '70s, plus Chuck Jackson and Maxine Brown's "Let It Be Me," which gives him an opportunity to duet with Jennifer Hudson. All this is firmly within Stewart's wheelhouse; these arrangements are all designed to evoke memories, not to dig into the heart of the songs. It's all pleasing, flowing better than the Great American Songbook albums.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. It's the Same Old Song
  2. My Cherie Amour
  3. You Make Me Feel Brand New
  4. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
  5. Tracks of My Tears
  6. Let It Be Me
  7. Rainy Night in Georgia
  8. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
  9. Love Train
  10. You've Really Got a Hold on Me
  11. Wonderful World
  12. If You Don't Know Me by Now
  13. Just My Imagination
purchase full album