Rod Stewart: Soulbook

Posted September 15, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

rodstewart00American songbook champ digs deep into the world of soul music on sixth volume

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. After riding the top of the charts with its revivalist movement for the classics, rock king Rod Stewart visits the songbooks of Motown, Philly soul and a few other wise choices on Soulbook. Stewart, bearing one of the most distinctive, at times fragilely thin voices of pop music, greets a wise selection of songs that are especially rewarding to the set. The plethora of soul treasures revisited here are warmly refitted for Stewart’s takes; particularly on “Tracks of My Tears” and on the soothing struts of Jerry Butler’s “Let It Be Me.” The latter reveals a tranquil duet with a calmed but sexy Jennifer Hudson. Jumpy grooves including “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me (Higher and Higher)” and a spirited rendition of the O’Jays’ “Love Train” showcases Stewart’s perky rock glam atop funky grooves fit for the consummate live show. While songs like “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” don’t drift that much apart from the originals, his duet with Mary J. Blige on “You Make Me Feel Brand New” gets a brisk of sweet modern pop lush while “Rainy Night in Georgia,” possibly the album’s biggest highlight, rises to the occasion with its romantic breezes and southern guitar licks. Maybe a few added risks and more expeditions in the arrangement department may have giving the album more of a bigger platform, especially since these nostalgic-primmed offerings are ever flooding the marketplace. But Stewart has a knack of making songs so unique to his voice and style. With that exception, Soulbook is a warm, fuzzy trip back to the roots of soul done so poignantly by a blue-eyed gentlemen that has plenty of it.



  • Release Date: 17 Oct 2009
  • Label: J
  • Producers: Chuck Kentis, Steve Tyrell, Steven Jordan
  • Track Favs: Rainy Night in Georgia, Let It Be Me, Tracks of My Tears

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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