.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/84c37b856ec2a114c942be1df50dd957b8033646.jpg When We Were The New Boys

Rod Stewart

When We Were The New Boys

Warner Bros.
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
June 4, 1998

Nobody stays forever young, so it's heartening to hear signs of life on When We Were the New Boys, Rod Stewart's strongest studio recording in years. Once reduced to cooing trifles like "Love Touch (Love Theme From Legal Eagles)," he sounds here like a man who ordered the credibility combo platter.

Stewart heads back to the future and forward into his past on When We Were the New Boys, covering suitable Nineties songs such as Oasis' "Cigarettes and Alcohol," Primal Scream's ultra-Stonesy "Rocks" and Skunk Anansie's "Weak," all of which he somehow turns into Rod rock. Less surprising, Stewart also tears into Graham Parker's simpatico "Hotel Chambermaid" and does poetic justice to Ron Sexsmith's exquisite "Secret Heart" — arguably the best song Stewart has interpreted since Tom Waits' "Downtown Train." In a lovely, rocking tip of the cap, Stewart movingly salutes his fallen Face mate Ronnie Lane by covering "Oh La La," which Lane wrote with Ronnie Wood.

These are savvy choices, particularly from a guy who saw fit to cover Leo Sayer's "When I Need You" last time around. Stewart's only songwriting contribution here is the wistful and uncharacteristically thoughtful title track — an affecting reverie about past glories on an album that boasts a few new ones. The goal on the short but sweet When We Were the New Boys was clearly to get back to the amazing grace and relatively stripped-down sound of Every Picture Tells a Story, and while it never quite rises to that extraordinary height, this time it's still a genuine pleasure to meet the new Rod. He's nearly the same as the old Rod.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “You Oughta Know”

    Alanis Morissette | 1995

    This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com