Rod Stewart Teaches Us to Have Soul

Ok. Whose idea was it to let Rod Stewart release his Soulbook album, singing the way, “only his unique voice can.” ? Somehow I am supremely annoyed by this. I just don’t understand why this is happening.

Is Rod Stewart really that cool?  What is going on? There’s no way that Rod Stewart is going to be able to sing any of these songs, better than the performers who originated them.

The whole thing feels a little bit Elvis Presley-esque to me. It represents a history of white artists covering music originally recorded by Black musicians – and producing, in some, but certainly not all cases, less compelling music, while the role of Black culture in pop music becomes eclipsed. Keven Phinney wrote about this in his book, Souled American: How Blck Music Transformed White Culture. 

 A white artists of dubious talent covering and releasing soul songs from currently living Black artists, in a way that is designed to up his “rock and roll,” or  smooth and cool industry credibility reads problematic to me.  I don’t see how this album will keep Rod Stewart relevant….maybe that’s just me. It is not like Rod Stewart is Robin Thicke, Dave Matthews, Pete Seeger, John Mayers or even Michael Bolton…yes I did just reference Michael Bolton (but he can sing, kind of, better than Rod Stewart at least). It’s Rod Stewart! Where is the talent. This ploy isn’t original, but it is still irksome.

I’m plum puzzled.

Somehow this represents the complete downfall of culture in the U.S. to me. You can read more about covers and culture in the music industry here in a Time Magazine article and here.


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