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Ringo Starr

Liverpool 8 (Capitol)

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There's something both perverse and oddly endearing about Liverpool 8, Ringo Starr's first album since 1974's Goodnight Vienna to be on Capitol, which released all the Beatles' records. The sun-soaked peace-and-love ditties are so cheerfully innocent, you'd swear Starr was caught in a cosmic time warp. He sings lines like "Smile a little more, as life goes by, with love in your eyes" without a trace of irony. Co-producer David Stewart's cushy production gives Liverpool 8 a distinct ELO-meets-Beatles vibe, while Starr's love songs range from the universal (the bouncy "Tuff Love") to the childlike ("Think About You" is as wholesome as a grade-school crush). Even the stroll he takes down memory lane in the title tune ambles along with a gee-whiz sort of artlessness: "When we played Shea, we were No. 1/Man, it was fun," he sings. In Starr's mind, things are still quite fab.

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