So It Goes
Stay the Same
Joe Cocker's punching harder these days than he was several decades ago, when he moved from raw soul man to polished balladeer. "Unforgiven" still evokes memories of Cocker's sentimental side, with keyboards that recall his '80s work, while "Runaway Train" goes for '80s funk. But on the title track, "Get On," and "The Fall," he comes out swinging in vintage style, playing into the role of the aged singer who's down but not out. Though he was often best known for his interpretation of songs by others, Cocker wrote nearly this entire album. The main exception is his rendition of The Dixie Chicks' "I Hope"; it was produced by Nashville stalwart Tony Brown, who also produced the Chicks' version. With a true R&B Hammond organ and a gospel choir backing him, Cocker sings from the pocket, laidback in the groove but still firmly in control. "So It Goes" further captures the soul man on a husky soul ballad that Cocker sings alone.