Watch the NEW official music video for Rod Stewart – “One More Time” from his forthcoming album 'The Tears of Hercules' out November 12.
A project close to Rod Stewart’s heart, his rekindled love of songwriting grows stronger on his 31st studio album.
'The Tears of Hercules' features nine new original songs written by Rod Stewart including "One More Time" plus covers of Marc Jordan, Johnny Cash and more.
Tears Of Hercules
A Fans Review by Ryan Frost - reelnerdspodcast.com
Rod Stewart returns with another round of mostly original material for his 32nd solo album, The Tears of Hercules. Stewart again follows the pattern of his 2018 studio album, Blood Red Roses, which there is no really cohesive thread in the album. Not a slight, but it seems to me that Stewart now is trying his hand at all genres of music and what you will hear is a 12-track album with diverse sounds from dance music, folk, Central America influences and of course Celtic and Irish touches.
The Tears of Hercules is a fun, solid ride for a man that is now in his sixth decade making music. Make no mistake, I am a huge Rod Stewart fan and I love that he takes chances and records whatever tickles his fancy.
So I thought I would share with you yet another Rod Stewart article on my website about movies. I also decided to dive into each track. I have listened to The Tears of Hercules non-stop since its release and I think I have a pretty strong feeling on where I stand with this album. Put on your headphones and join me on a journey I think you will enjoy.
One More Time (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar)
The Tears of Hercules opens with a country-pop ditty about hooking up with an ex-lover for one more roll in the sack. I like this song and I love the playfulness of the lyrics. Right off the bat Stewart comes out strong with, “It’s not the color of your hair or the beauty in your eyes that I’ll be missin’. Or the sunshine in your smile or those ruby red lips I’ve been kissin’” The song starts mellow with just a guitar and slowly ramps up to the chorus.
The folk touches give way to more of a poppy-country sound. Which is fine. I would’ve liked if stayed understated but I hear the appeal. It is catchy and I heard this just today at a local grocery store so it’s getting radio play.
Overall a fun, lightweight start to the album.
Gabriella (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar)
When I mentioned in the beginning of this article you can’t really pinpoint the genre of music to put The Tears of Hercules in, takes a 180 degree turn from One More Time to a dance infused electronic song, Gabriella.
Which I guess if there is a theme here is they are both about sex. And this song has a killer hook and I love the opening verse, particularly “A blind man could see you made a bee line for me, there was only one thing on your mind.”
Of all the songs on this album, Gabriella is the one I am most conflicted about. The guitar solo is wicked and it is fun, I am just not sure how much fun. I do like it but not sure how much. I do think Rod sounds great on the track.
All My Days (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar)
Hey you like songs about sex? Well let’s change everything you’ve heard so far on The Tears of Hercules and take a vacation and relax with the sounds of Mexico.
Stewart throws a curve ball yet again for the third straight song as the airy, catchy, All My Days is next. Taking the same approach as Beautiful Morning, where our hero just wants to get away. All My Days is lighter and perhaps a little more fun than Beautiful Morning.
I love this song. It’s ok people to just enjoy a song. It doesn’t have to be deep, it can just be fun and All My Days is that. I love the catchy chorus, I love the horns, I love the Central American vibe.
Some Kind of Wonderful (John Ellison)
The first cover that Stewart tackles is a doozy. First released in 1967 by the Soul Brothers Six, and than reaching number three on the Billboard charts by Grand Funk Railroad in 1974.
Stewart’s in a blend of the two and he dirties it up a little bit with some crunching guitars and makes it one hell of a good time. Stewart is in top form during this song and shows he still can deliver the goods on rock songs.
Born to Boogie (A Tribute to Marc Bolan) (Rod Stewart/Emerson Swinford)
Marc Bolan was known as one of the pioneers of Glam Rock with his band T. Rex. Bolan tragically died in 1974 and Rod pays tribute to him on a rip roaring true to its title boogie.
The opening chords will have you tapping your feet and when Stewart steps up to the mike he delivers a fun and touching song. What I love about this song is that, yes it’s a tribute but it is also one hell of a fun song. Rod’s lyrics are so clever throughout the runtime that it ends way too fast. With killer lines like, “When he played guitar he was a rock-god baby-faced assassin. He wore a black bowler hat and a jacket made of cherry red satin” Yes, Stewart rhymed “Assassin and satin”. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a song writer and my guess is that it will always be his fans best kept secret.
Kookooaramabama (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar)
I have no idea what this title means. And after listening to the song I am guessing it’s about sex. Rod returns to dance music with Kookooaramabama and it is ok. But I do like the the line, “try it in the kitchen when the kids are out.”
I mean I guess it has a fun beat and the lyrics are fun, but I think it is the weakest track on the album.
I Can’t Imagine (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar/Emerson
Oh the song that has divided Rod’s fans. I have read that some people think it is awful and the pendulum swings all the way to the other side where people adore it.
I think I fall in the middle. It took me a long time to warm up to it. The music video sold me on the song, seeing Rod smiling and charming his way through the song had me smiling with new appreciation for I Can’t Imagine.
I do love the message of the song, especially dig the line “And when I’ve been down and out and my back’s been against the wall, only you baby, only you stood up for me proud and tall”.
Rod dedicated this to his wife and it also reminds me of mine, perhaps that’s why I am a softie for this song.
The Tears of Hercules (Marc Jordan)
The title track is a slow moving ballad written by Marc Jordan who supplied Rod with his mega-hit, Rhythm of My Heart.
The Tears of Hercules doesn’t have the punch of that song, but it is sweet and Rod is in top vocal form. It’s a little safe but well done. The best part is Stewart’s powerful reading.
Hold On (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar)
Every Rod Stewart album has a song that is worth the price of the whole album, and Hold On is that song.
Rod is in top form, from his vocals, to his song writing and his incredible phrasing of the lyrics. Tackling the current state of the world, Rod delivers one of his most powerful songs ever.
My favorite lyric is “A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke once sung, oh lay down that burden of hate.” I will be honest I shed a tear listening to this song. Music can always inspire us and Rod does just that in four short minutes
One of his best written songs in many a moons..
Precious Memories (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar)
I never knew I wanted a Rod Stewart doo-wop song and I was wrong. Not only did I want one, now I want a whole album of them.
Rod absolutely crushes the sound of the 50’s in this absolute gem of a song. I close my eyes and picture two straws in a malt being shared by a couple of teenagers in a poodle skirt and a letterman’s sweater.
The lyrics are sweet, the saxophone is money and Rod is singing so well.
Please Rod, give me an album of originals mixed with some Buddy Holly covers.
These Are My People (Johnny Cash)
Rod takes a Johnny Cash country song and drastically changes it to a Scottish/Irish/Celtic ditty.
Kudos to Rod for taking a big chance a fundamentally changing the song. He is an expert at taking someone else’s song and making it his own.
Stewart changes the song as well to sort of a rally sing-along. It’s well done and Rod again is in top form.
Touchline (Rod Stewart/Kevin Savigar)
A beautiful heartfelt song closes out the album. A deeply personal song about Rod’s father is tear inducing, relatable to anyone.
As Rod sings this song, I reflected on my dad standing on the sidelines of my football games and being proud of me but also critical of my play. It was his way of showing love and hearing Rod sing about is tough dad showing his love the same way is deeply effective.
Stewart’s singing is with so much heart you actually hear it in his voice. What a way to close out the album.
I really enjoy The Tears of Hercules. It is a fun album that flies by. And with only a couple of missteps on the album make this another strong album by Rod Stewart.
Overall Grade: B