Joe Cocker: Hard Knocks (Sony)

 |   |  <1 min read

Joe Cocker: I Hope
Joe Cocker: Hard Knocks (Sony)

Cocker at 66 is candid enough to say that the idea behind this album was to get him on radio because -- good though his last one Hymn For My Soul was -- it didn't sell as expected.

That meant bringing in another producer (Matt Serletic who had done good work for Collective Soul and Matchbox 20), getting the word out for radio-friendly singles from songwriters and tweaking things with programmers in mind.

Still, there no getting away from That Voice though and Cocker here deploys its full and distinctive rawness on material like the title track, the standout ballad Unforgiven and the gospel-tinged Thankful, all of which sound vaguely autobiographical although come from other writers.

The slower So It Goes is also a fine piece of work.

But around these cornerstone tracks are others which feel like lesser vehicles . . . although he nails the Dixie Chicks' I Hope right at the end by moving into that zone where he is most comfortable, Ray Charles-styled gospel soul.

So a slightly uneven Cocker album and although it seems have to been a successful stab at radio (Europe picked up on it, so did the UK) you can't help feel its predecessor was a much better album in the comparison.

Like that? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Juju: In Trance (Real World)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Juju: In Trance (Real World)

That alt.world between late 60s psychedelic blues-rock, frantic village folk, and fiery world music is a strange place. It's where LedZepp, speedmetal-folk, Afro-blues, the Mississippi Delta... > Read more

Bannerman: Clawhammer (bannerman.com)

Bannerman: Clawhammer (bannerman.com)

As in most countries, New Zealand musicians can usually be placed in a genre or style. Not so Richard Setford who is Bannerman. His two previous albums (considered "outstanding" at... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

Dean Martin: Italian Love Songs

Dean Martin: Italian Love Songs

The fact is that every home should have a Dean Martin album or two, and those with a sense of humour will go for one in a really stupid cover (like this). Dean Martin was, as we have mentioned... > Read more