Out of Order
With the ‘80s drawing to a close, Rod Stewart relocated his groove, finally able to bring pieces of his rock past into a mix of smoother adult-contemporary fare. The album production still reflects the era with lots of extra echo effects and brooding synths undercutting the guitars in spots, but the material is among the strongest since 1981’s Tonight I’m Yours, and Stewart sounds more calm, confident, and in control. His “Forever Young” is a natural hit. The ballad “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” features the sweetness and nuance that he once imbued in his folk-based ballads a decade and a half back. He dares to take on “Try a Little Tenderness,” an old classic that Otis Redding claimed back in the ‘60s, and comes out with a worthy update. “Lost In You” and “Dynamite” rock harder than Stewart had in years, perhaps in part by employing Power Station’s guitarist Andy Taylor, Chic bassist Bernard Edwards and drummer Tony Thompson. Multi-instrumentalist David Lindley can also be heard adding touches on slide guitar, mandolin and fiddle in spots.