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on January 31, 2012
Those who already know and love Ringo - and understand what his latter-day recordings are about (namely, cheerfully looking back on his fortunate life through lively, though only occasionally adventurous, melodies and percussion) - are aware of what to expect with the lean, non-stellar and yet comfortably familiar "Ringo 2012."

The album clocks in at less than 29 minutes. Some artists release EPs longer in length. In the vinyl era it would have been eyebrow-raising. Today it is jaw-dropping.

Furthermore, two songs are covers and two are re-recordings. That means there are only five new tunes.

Also, the valleys between variances in Ringo's sounds are noticeably narrowing. The melody, cadence and chord progression of (the thoughtful and highly listenable) "Anthem" sound a hell of a lot like those of "Fill in the Blanks," the (far stronger) opening track from 2010's "Y Not." That's not the end - "Slow Down" bears quite a resemblance to "Anthem" (and "Fill in the Blanks").

Ringo knows what he's doing, however. He's crafting records merely to please himself and is well aware that the small audience to shell out dollars on his new solo ventures are well-acquainted with his unique brand of joie de vivre and casual, laid back approach to peace sign pop/rock.

The best tunes are the re-recordings of old ones. "Wings" is sharp, brilliantly arranged and downright infectious. His vocals are fully passionate and his drumming (to be sure) is right in time. "Step Lightly" is also nuanced, meditative and colorful in its melody.

"Wonderful," a new composition, is wistful, romantic and lyrically above-average. He sings the best line - "the worst it ever was was wonderful" - with depth of feeling. His cover of Lonnie Donegan's old staple "Rock Island Line" is also spirited and fun.

"Ringo 2012" is only occasionally more than mere easy-listening, whereas 2003's "Ringo Rama" and 2010's "Y Not" had a fair deal of inspiration driving them. It is also far more likely to lose Ringo record buyers rather than win him new ones (due mostly to its piss-poor length). Still, it is also the most sincere and unpretentious new album from a major artist to hit stores in quite a while.
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on February 3, 2012
Ringo Starr's solo albums always bring a smile to my face. They are perfect examples of old-school good-time rock 'n' roll at its finest. RINGO 2012 only contains nine cuts and runs just 28 minutes, but the performances are top-notch from start to finish. There are two cover versions, Buddy Holly's "Listen to Me" and the venerable "Rock Island Line," made world-famous by Lonnie Donegan. Two of the seven Ringo originals are remakes; "Wings," the single from 1977's disco album Ringo the 4th, produced by the late Arif Mardin, not Richard Perry, as Ringo claims in the bonus DVD, and "Step Lightly," originally a novelty song-and-dance number (with Ringo's nimble feet) from 1973's Ringo LP, which was produced by Perry (the song was also the U.S. B-side to "Oh My My"). Both remakes are superior to the original versions.

The other five cuts on the CD, from the opening "Anthem" to the closing "Slow Down" (unrelated to the Larry Williams song covered by The Beatles in 1964) are all first-rate examples of Beatlesque pop-rock. The bonus DVD is a track-by-track review of the CD by Ringo (who looks great).

It's hard to believe that Mr. Starkey is almost 72! Why this man is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist is beyond me. The cultural elitists who run the R&R HOF have room for "artists" such as Guns 'N' Roses and The Beastie Boys (who are not even a rock 'n' roll group), but no Ringo? Come on guys, put Ringo in while he's still alive and healthy enough to enjoy it! Don't wait until after his death, as you did with George Harrison!

P.S. Ringo is sick with pneumonia - he missed the Grammys (he was supposed to be a presenter), Paul's MusiCares ceremony, and his Hollywood Walk of Fame presentation as a result. Get well soon, Ring - we want you healthy for the All-Starr tour this summer!
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on February 2, 2012
I'm a bit surprised by the poor customer reviews -- I think the album is much, much better than reviewers are giving it credit for. Strong playing, strong vocals -- yeah, Ringo isn't the greatest vocalist but on this CD his vocals are very good, and his harmonies are a surprise. Frankly, I think it's one of his better albums. A variety of tempos, a variety of styles, and everything handled very well. The songwriting is much, much better than I would have thought after reading the other reviews. If anyone is interested in a Beatle-to-Beatle comparison, this album is significantly better than McCartney's Memory Almost Full, which was a real disappointment for me. For Beatles fans this is a solid investment. For Ringo fans, this is a must-buy.
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on February 9, 2012
This is the only solo album from Ringo Starr that I've ever heard and I must say that I enjoyed it very much. It has a pleasant rock/power pop vibe to it that I like, also very positive lyrics as well. The songs I like on it are "Anthem", "Think It Over", "Step Lightly", "Wonderful" and "In Liverpool". Not bad, have a new fan!
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on February 3, 2012
Ringo does it again....Always amazed at how he can out-do all the C.R.A.P that is out nowadays and put out constant great CD's..This is another lively CD with great lyrics, a bit of Auto-Biography thrown in and a GREAT TRIBUTE to another great artist from the past Buddy Holly.....50+ years in the business tells it all.....where do you think the stars of today will be in 3 years???? ROCK ON RINGO....keep staying YOUNG!...
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on February 6, 2012
As the title of my review states, I was pleasantly surprised with this cd. I have been a Beatles fan all my life, so when one of the boys put out an album, I have to buy it to keep my collection complete. I have bought some that were immediately forgettable, but I feel like I will enjoy this one for some time. Some reviews stated that the album was too short, but I think it is better to put fewer higher quality tracks on an album, rather than a couple good tracks and a bunch of filler. I highly recommend this cd, and the DVD was just extra fun. Thank you Ringo for another great album, and keep up the fine work.
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on November 1, 2012
ringo continues to please. the 2012 c.d./ d.v.d. is nothing more
than brilliant. ringo shows how much the music means to him. he
shows why he was such a good drummer. he also shows why so many
mussos want to play music with him. may he rock for many more years.

ted turner.
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VINE VOICEon February 19, 2012
Ringo began a string of consistently good albums in 1992 with "Time Takes Time." The album set a standard for the "modern" Ringo album: very Beatlesque, tuneful, hook-filled pop with an oddball experiment or two thrown in on each album. Guest stars pepper his albums. "Vertical Man," "Ringo-rama," "Choose Love," "Liverpool 8," and 2010's "Y Not" all follow this basic formula.

"Ringo 2012" kind of does too, but it's only 29 minutes long. This makes it more of an EP with an LP's price tag. Only five of the nine songs are new. Ringo drags two songs out of his own catalog. "Step Lightly" first appeared on 1973's "Ringo" and here it isn't really improved upon her. "Wings" (nothing to do with Paul's old band) was originally part of 1977's "Ringo the 4th" and this new version is better. But still, what's the point really? Two songs are covers of oldies - one of the skiffle hit "Rock Island Line" and the other was actually already available last year, Buddy Holly's "Think it Over" (it was part of the "Listen To Me" Holly tribute album).

Of the five new songs, there are really no standouts - even by Ringo's modest standards. This just wasn't up to par as a whole. "Y Not" had the touching "Walk With You" (with Paul McCartney on co-vocals). "Ringo-Rama" had the great rocker "Instant Amnesia." There were numerous great tunes on "Time Takes Time," best of all being "Weight of the World." But with its limited number of new songs and scant running time, "Ringo 2012" just doesn't live up.
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on February 8, 2012
Ringo's new cd is under 30 minutes in length but the music is of such high quality you don't even notice it! Every song is solid and Ringo's production is excellent. His cover of "Rock Island Line" is a great rocker and his new takes on the old songs "Wings" (originally from "Ringo The 4th", 1977) and "Step Lightly"(from 1973's "Ringo") have been nicely updated. Also included is Ringo's cover of the Buddy
Holly classic "Think It Over" which was originally on a Holly tribute cd not long ago. With an album
this strong Ringo's next All-Starr tour will be a must see event. To round out the new cd there is
also a bonus DVD with Ringo discussing the new album and more. Thanks for all of the great music Ringo!
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on February 5, 2012
This man has seen it all, done it all, heard it all...and he's still making good music that's fresh and positive. While it may not be a masterpiece, it's still worth listening to. It's down to earth, up beat and positive - soooo Ringo. As a member of one of the greatest bands of all time, he really doesn't have to impress anyone[at 71]...I love him for it! If you're an over-thinking music critic, you probably won't like it. But if you're true Ringo fan (like me), you will. Peace and love.
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