Picks and Pans Review: Camouflage
After 15 years and 16 solo albums' worth of success, Rod Stewart, 39, is the aural equivalent of Johnny Carson. There is the same easy, almost tedious familiarity with every gesture. You half expect him to make jokes between cuts about his split from Alana. As it is, those seconds of silence between songs are among the most pleasurable moments on Camouflage, which seems thrown together to support Infatuation, this year's version of Rod's perennial summer tilt at the Top 10 singles. Even that rocker, featuring Stewart's old bandmate Jeff Beck, on guitar, is lackluster. Beck plays on two other cuts as well and adds some gutty flavor to the. rhythm of Bad for You. His work overall is lost in the mix by producer Michael Omartian, as are Gary Herbig's sax and Jimmy Zavala's harmonica. In the two songs by other composers that Rod covers, his interpretation adds nothing to the originals. In both cases Stewart has picked songs recorded earlier by vocalists of greater range and resourcefulness: Todd Rundgren with Can We Still Be Friends? and Paul Rodgers on the 1970 hit for Free, All Right Now. If Rod takes this drivel on this summer's tour, he'd better bring along more protection than camouflage. (Warner Bros.)
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