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John Fogerty: Revival

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John Fogerty: Revival

John Fogerty: Revival

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The Bottom Line

There are no new classics here on the order of his CCR hits, or even the strongest material on his original solo comeback, 1985's Centerfield. But time has proven remarkably kind to Fogerty and his belief in the power of old-fashioned roots rock... if only he didn't spend so much time on Revival reminding us who he is and trying to reestablish his position as a grassroots poet.
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Pros

  • He's back, and rocking harder than he has in some time.
  • His new band is perfect, and he's still got those Creedence grooves down pat.
  • This is a fairly strong batch of songs, musically speaking.

Cons

  • Lyrically, Fogerty stumbles badly, trying to reclaim past glories.

Description

  • Release date: October 2, 2007
  • Fantasy 30001
  • Studio (2007)
  • Original
  • Single disc
  • Digipak

Guide Review - John Fogerty: Revival

Some folks see the cover of this, John Fogerty's first album since 2004's Deja Vu All Over Again, as a full-circle nod to his first solo album, 1973's Blue Ridge Rangers. Listen to the disc within, however, and it soon becomes obvious that he's really making a play for iconography again, not tweaking the neurons of the few people who bought his first solo effort. Having finally gotten his old band's label, Fantasy, back into sympathetic hands, John seems hell bent on reminding us all of his glory days with Creedence Clearwater Revival. As if we could forget.

The attempt doesn't end at the cover of this familiarly-titled CD, though (way to play hell with Google, btw). It's one thing to write songs that sound like old CCR, quite another to dedicate an entire new song to celebrating your back catalog ("Creedence Song"). Instead of the easy wit and pointed satire of "It Came Out Of The Sky," which examined media paranoia, and the classic anti-war anthem "Fortunate Son," which was calling out deferment dodgers like Dubya back when he was in the Texas National Guard, Revival satisfies itself with name-checking Donald Rumsfeld on the instantly dated "Long Dark Night" and dropping clunky lines like "You know you lied about the WMDs" on "I Can't Take It No More." And for someone who merely flirted with psychedelia, the sepiatoned "Summer Of Love" seems like pure pandering.

The good news is that John hasn't lost his easy way with a groove: that comfortable Bakersfield/Texarkana/Sun Studios choogle is still as fresh as ever. He's also rocking harder than ever in his solo career, thanks to the aid of Benmont Tench, Kenny Aronoff, and other roots vets. But this is not the return of Fogerty the storyteller as much as it is Fogerty the brand name. And as anyone who's seen his recent concerts knows, he's better than that.

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