Rod Stewart's new album "The Tears of Hercules" is unlistenable

I wanted to like it. I really wanted to like it.

I have a love/hate relationship with Rod Stewart.

I love his early music. His work with Jeff Beck is brilliant. His first few solo albums are outstanding. Faces was a great band. “Maggie May’, “Reason to Believe”, “Mandolin Wind”, “Stay With Me”…I can go on and on.

But, to counteract the above, there’s Disco Rod. There’s Rod and “The Great American Songbook”….four volumes…FOUR!! There’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” Rod.

However, there’s more to Sir Rod than only the recorded music. He’s a funny guy with a self-deprecating sense of humor. After divorce number two he said, “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.” How can you not love that?

He also seems to be approachable. One of my friends once ran into him in a Beverly Hills clothing store. When he nodded hello, Rod came over and they had a chat that lasted for about a half-hour. Then they shopped for shirts together as if they were BFFs.

Then there’s the important work he does on behalf of mostly teenage cancer charities. A two-time cancer survivor, in 2019 he helped raise over one million dollars for The City of Hope. Last year, he auctioned off a chat with a fan about Soccer, which Stewart fanatically loves, for $35,000 which went to help in the fight against prostate cancer.

But there’s more……back to the music, Stewart has had a residency in Las Vegas for more than a decade. His show has received great reviews. He does all the songs you want to hear and more. Everyone walks away feeling their money is well spent. Plus, his old band, Faces, has reunited. The three surviving members, Stewart, Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones have hooked up and written some new tunes. A new album and a tour are upcoming.

You add this all up and the math says it was time to revisit Rod Stewart and his music. Since his latest album, “The Tears of Hercules”, dropped yesterday, it seemed to be a perfect time. I went into this with an open mind, hoping for the best; but then I spent forty-five minutes that I’ll never be able to get back.

The album starts with “One More Time”, a country-esque tune about wanting to have one more reunion…and by reunion, I mean sex…with a woman from his past. It doesn’t matter that they’ve both moved on with other relationships, it can be done on the down-low. It’s followed by “Gabriella”, another song about sex. The subject matter isn’t the problem. It’s just bad, real bad music!

And it gets even worse!

There are cover versions of “Some Kind of Wonderful” and Johnny Cash’s “These Are My People.” along with a song dedicated to his wife, Penny Lancaster-Stewart. But the songs are so dull that I had to take a break and listen to some old-school Rod to get through the album.

Here’s the deal, if you feel a need to listen to Rod’s music, go find “Gasoline Alley”, “Every Picture Tells a Story” or one of Jeff Beck’s first two albums. It’ll be a better use of your time than listening to this newest disaster.

I wanted to like it. I really wanted to like it.

Related Post: 1971 was a great year for Rod Stewart

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