Do you remember Rick Springfield? You know, the guy who was pretty big in the ’80s and who scored 17 Top 40 singles, one of which was “Jessie’s Girl.” Well, if the title and content of his new album are anything to go by, it appears he’s experiencing a mid-life crisis. And a pretty brutal one at that.
As his press bio states, Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance deals with a whole host of “raw emotions, taking the listener on a disturbing and ambitious ride.” What it actually manages to do is evoke in the listener the very emotions mentioned in the title.
Shock: That an artist whose reputation is built on classic pop-rock songs has released such a hard-hitting and disjointed album that contrasts so sharply with his back catalogue. True, songs like “Wasted” and “Perfect” offer glimmers of Springfield’s usually razor-sharp songwriting, but the rest are as forgettable as any cinematic collaboration between Ben Affleck and J-Lo.
Denial: That Springfield ever felt that songs like “Perfect,” “My Depression” and “Open My Eyes,” to name but a few, were ever good enough to inflict upon the music-buying public.
Anger: That I have wasted a couple of hours of my life reviewing such a disappointing album masquerading as personal therapy.
Acceptance: That because Springfield is now no longer on a major label, not very many people will have the truly dreadful tunes on Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance inflicted upon their ears.
Hopefully, the process of making this album has cleansed Springfield of the demons he was dealing with when writing it. But for poor, unsuspecting reviewers like myself, albums like this should come with a public health warning.