For his latest studio release, Rick Springfield revisits 11 of his better-known tracks and one new arrangement by including a lush orchestral backing.
Upon hearing the 90-second orchestration that elegantly opens “Kristina,” the set’s first track, I was concerned that the 69-year-old singer, actor and author had become mellow with age.
But then suddenly, Springfield busts loose when delivering the infectious guitar riff that announces “I’ve Done Everything for You” on the album’s second number, finely pairing the high energy of this power pop tune (written by Sammy Hagar) with the mellifluous tones from a supportive orchestra.
The symphonic seasoning added to a number of the Australian heartthrob’s reworked tracks serves as a subtle ingredient that further enhances the charm of the hits that fans have enthusiastically lip-synced and played air guitar to for years.
Still sporting a strong singing voice, it’s great to hear Springfield belt out songs like “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “Affair of the Heart,” “Love Somebody” and “Human Touch.”
I was a little dismayed to discover that some of my personal favorite Springfield songs like “Love Is Alright Tonight,” “What Kind of Fool Am I” and “I Get Excited” were missing from the set.
However, my disappointment quickly faded after hearing the opening riff to “Jessie’s Girl.” From 1981’s album “Working Class Dog,” the song went on to become the biggest hit of his career.
Springfield gently tugs on our heartstrings with two tender ballads written in memory of his parents.
“Irreplaceable” is a new track that details Springfield’s feelings about his mother’s loss and how he still can feel her presence near as he sings, “I see your signs, they’re clear and bright.”
“My Father’s Chair” closes out the set with Springfield struggling to accept his father’s departure. During periods of pain, Springfield finds comfort and healing in his father’s favorite chair.
As a whole, “Orchestrating My Life” showcases Springfield’s talent for crafting and delivering songs that make us laugh, cry, dance and sing out loud like nobody’s watching.
Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.