Rod Stewart: Another Country

29th album from Archway’s answer to Sam Cooke.

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After two decades off, Rodders’ return to songwriting on 2013’s Time was a surprise success, chalking up his first UK No.1 since 1979. Clearly emboldened, his new album is also self-penned, with mixed results.

We Can Win is a Celtic stomp about, well, going to see Celtic, while Walking In The Sunshine is a Saga-centric ode to the joys of feeling the Spanish sun on your bones as old age approaches.

However, the sense that Rod is phoning these songs in from his palatial Essex rest home evaporates with the splendid Please – a sultry shuffle that could sit comfortably on 1983’s Body Wishes – while Way Back Home is a heartfelt acknowledgement of wartime sacrifice.

At 70 he’s still in good voice, and as the success of Time proved, his audience are happy to indulge his increasingly soppy outlook – notable here on Batman Superman Spiderman, an ode to his youngest child.

Someone should definitely have had a word in his shell-like about Love And Be Loved, though, a cliché-packed reggae excursion with all the authenticity of a Lilt ad.

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.