So, my main man Rick Springfield has a new album out that I’ve really been enjoying for the past couple weeks. It’s called Orchestrating My Life, a collection of 10 hits, two beloved album cuts, and a new song Rick wrote when his mom passed away, all of them recorded with a symphony orchestra accompanying Rick’s band. The cynical might sniff that the symphony thing is just a gimmicky way to repackage the same old tunes, but I’m finding that the symphonic accompaniment lends a great deal of depth and freshness to some very familiar material.
Consider “Kristina,” for example, a cut from his 1982 album Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet. Although it was never released as a single, it’s become a fan favorite over the years and is always a highlight of Rick’s live performances. It’s one of my personal favorites as well, with its infectious guitar hook, a throbbing bass line that encourages you to nod your head and pump your fist, and lyrics that play with two of my favorite subjects, cars and sex. As much as I love it, though, it’s… well, it’s familiar. Adding the symphony takes a straight-ahead rocker of which I know every note and fills it with sheer unadulterated joy. This version of the song is just plain fun to listen to.
Turn it up loud, kids, and have a great holiday weekend…
(The original recording is here, if you want to compare.)