Ringo's newest record, Y Not, is one of his best - cohesive
and enjoyable throughout, it has his trademark upbeat vibe,
as well as enough depth and edge to keep it firmly on solid ground. Y Not opens with the straight ahead rock of “Fill in the Blanks,” where he sings about trying to hold the chaos of daily life at bay. The song is propelled by Joe Walsh’s elastic guitar and is a gas, rocking harder than what we usually expect from Ringo. “Peace Dream” visits Ringo’s favorite territory,
a cosmically optimistic view of everyone working it out and getting along. “Can you imagine all of this coming true, it’s really up to all of us to do,” he sings, referencing then directly citing John Lennon in homage. “The Other Side of Liverpool” Ringo recounts his hardscrabble youth. His duet with Paul McCartney, “Walk with You,” is a quite lovely mid-tempo ballad which Ringo penned with Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks. When Paul’s voice comes in to sing harmony on the chorus, “When I walk with you, when I talk with you, every- thing will be fine,” The Beatles fans will no doubt feel a twinge of bittersweet nostalgia, knowing there's just two now, but thankful to have this wonderful tune. “Everyone Wins” has
a kind of “it’s all connected and so are we” Buddhist concept,
nicely constructed with a definite 60’s vibe. The title song,
“Y Not,” is a call to change, which Ringo sees as best to enact by starting with himself. The song has elements we haven't heard from Ringo before - a propulsive dance groove and Indian-chant backing vocals, by Tina Sugandh. “Can’t Do It Wrong” is a big-band blues romp that assures us it’s all good, and the up-tempo duet with Joss Stone, “Who’s Your Daddy,” is great fun, though Ringo’s jovial responses don’t ever really meld with Stone’s bluesy soul growl. Ringo produced the record himself, co-wrote all of the songs and brought in a stellar crew of musicians. Y Not shows him, at 69, brimming with vitality, creativity and good natured Ringo-ness. No small feat. Maybe there's something to believing in this peace stuff.