Dave Stewart has done it again. The former Eurythmics star has re-invented himself once again on his latest record, Lucky Numbers. The third of his Nashville records, this record comes across as the culmination of Stewart’s journey into the country music world. And it goes without saying that if this is the last of his country records, it is his best yet. The record offers a little of something for everybody over the course of eleven tracks. The album’s opener, ‘Every Single Night’ is quite the interesting way to kick off this album. That’s because while it does boast a country element, it’s also slightly tinged with an 80s sound, too. The addition of country superstar Martina McBride doesn’t hurt the record, either. And its radio edit, is little different. It’s just one of the songs that listeners will enjoy on this record. Just as enjoyable is the semi-bluesy ‘Drugs Taught Me a Lesson.’ This song doesn’t necessarily have a country vibe about it. But its theme of past drug use set alongside its mid-tempo musical side make it another of the album’s high points. Speaking of high points, the album’s third track, ‘How To Ruin A Romance’ is one more of those high points. Its playful energy and equally comical yet true lyrical side will most assuredly have anyone smiling as they sing along. These are just a few of the most notable of the songs from Stewart’s new album. For those that want something a little softer, Stewart has a relatively good offering of softer material, too. Along with the more up-tempo songs, they put Dave Stewart into this critic’s list of the year’s best new records again.’
‘Every Single Night’ opens Lucky Numbers. This mid-tempo pop country tune is a good re-introduction for Stewart. It’s quite the interesting opener, too. It’s light pop/rock vibe conjures thoughts of Phil Collins and certain other well-known acts from the 80s. That’s thanks to the keyboard and drums that largely drive the song. Ironically, it’s that same solid drumming that is sure to have audiences at Stewart’s live shows raising their hands and clapping together in time to the song. Guest star Martina McBride actually serves to make the song feel even more like a pop song straight from the late 80s with her vocal prowess. It adds a certain charm as the pair sings, “That’s why the rain came/Every single night/Every single night/Like a ball and chain/Every single night/Every single night/I’m never gonna cry again/Every single night/Every single night/Don’t ask me why again/Every single night/Every single night.” The charm of the duo singing together along with the song’s musical side makes it so easy to close one’s eyes and actually see them singing. Even images of the pair singing together will come across to some just like a music video from the 80s. Is that bad? Not necessarily. It’s actually somewhat endearing. And that endearing feeling is the heart of the song. Stewart and McBride have hit an emotional nerve with listeners that will lead to the above mentioned reactions.
After the feel good vibes created in ‘Every Single Night’, one might wonder how Stewart could possibly follow up that song. He follows it up by changing things up in every sense of the term. Instead of offering more of that endearing classic rock vibe, Stewart turns bluesy on the album’s next song, ‘Drugs Taught Me A Lesson.’ He was joined by Vanessa Amorosi and The Ringmaster Chorus on this song. This is another of those songs that make it so easy for audiences to envision Stewart live on stage, performing the song. It’s so easy to see the Ringmaster’s Chorus behind Stewart, swaying back and forth, smiling as they sing and clap in time. The song’s laid back piano riff mixed with its infectious groove laid down by Stewart’s bassist make the song even more fun. And one can’t forget the incredible guitar work in this track, either. All three elements together make the song’s lyrical side hit even harder, believe it or not. That’s because Stewart is singing from the vantage point of someone having gotten past drug addiction. He sings, “Drugs taught me a lesson/How to lose control/Drugs taught me a lesson/Just how I lose my soul/And that’s one hard lesson to learn.” It would have been so easy to take a more somber road on this song. Stewart took chose otherwise. And it paid off, too. It shows that there is hope for those struggling to get past drug addiction, and the joy that can result in living a clean life. So for that, kudos is in order for Stewart and company.
Stewart and his band mates maintain the light hearted vibe established in the album’s second song with the very next piece, ‘How To Ruin A Romance.’ This song just cries country. It is really the first pure country style song on this record. Stewart and guest musician Vanessa Amorosi sing playfully about all the ways that people—particularly men—ruin a romance. From not taking a cue from a woman to passing up the chance to talk to a woman or even kiss her, he and Amorosi outline rather well all the things to not do. They offer up even more ways that a romance can be romance can be ruined. And there are a lot of ways to ruin a romance, too, as listeners will find out. Add in some nice guitar solos and solid drumming, and listeners get yet another enjoyable song from Stewart’s new album.
As one can hopefully tell by now, there is plenty of reason for audiences to applaud Dave Stewart on his latest LP. He offers much more from which listeners can choose as their own favorite songs. There is more light hearted material throughout the record as well as more heartfelt material for those wanting to hear Stewart’s softer side. Altogether, it works to make Lucky Numbers another hit from Dave Stewart, and another album from Stewart that makes this critic’s list of the year’s best new albums. Fans will get to hear these songs and even more of his material in just a couple of months when he performs at “VaVoom…A Rock and Roll Circus” in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, January 30th. Tickets for that show are available now and can be ordered online at http://goldenvoice.com/shows/details/?id=245809. All of the latest information on more upcoming shows and news from Dave Stewart is available online at http://www.facebook.com/davestewart and http://davestewart.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.