Dave Stewart - The Ringmaster General

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Dave Stewart's music calls for an acquired taste. Not that his output is quirky or bizarre; it's just that it is not that memorable. Stewart rocketed to fame as the man behind the Eurythmics where he worked with fabulous vocalist Annie Lennox and since the demise of that group he's produced good work for many other artists. The trouble is, since Stewart himself doesn't have a very distinct voice of his own, his solo albums always come across like they're made primarily with the intent of showcasing his songs so that other artists can hear them and perhaps claim them as their own, maybe even enlisting Stewart to produce their version. And that translates to an unimpassioned listen for the average non-musician fan. Stewart tries to pep up the album a bit by enlisting female vocalists for a few songs and the cuts featuring Joss Stone, Alison Krause, Jessie Baylin and Diane Birch are the better of the lot while "Girl in a Catsuit," although kind of insipid lyrically, is the album's highlight thanks to an inspired guitar war that plays out between Stewart and in-demand ax lady Orianthi. The bulk of The Ringmaster General though is good for a one-time listen and that's about it.

Dave Stewart - The Ringmaster General

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