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Classic Album Review: Rod Stewart | As Time Goes By … The Great American Songbook Volume II

You have to hand it to the old codger. But that doesn't mean you have to like it.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


I will be the first to hand it — however grudgingly — to Rod Stewart. Not only has he engineered a late-career comeback for himself, but he’s done it without having to squeeze into leopard-skinned tights and pretend he’s still Rod the Mod and not Rodger the Codger.

Thanks to the success of last year’s It Had to Be You, Stewart has reinvented himself as a Tony Bennett for the Woodstock generation. Hence the inevitable and predictable sequel As Time Goes By, on which Stewart once again embraces his inner coot and mellows out with a bland cocktail-jazz set of Tin Pan Alley classics like Time After Time, I’m In The Mood For Love, Where of When, Smile and I Only Have Eyes For You. But like last time, while it’s nice to hear Rod acting his age, his sandpapery rasp and laissez-faire delivery don’t exactly measure up to Bennett (or even Bryan Ferry). Sure, you have to hand it to Rod. But that doesn’t mean you have to like it.


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