We gave it a B
While channel-hopping recently, I ran into Shining Time Station, the PBS kids’ show featuring Ringo as a Lilliputian train conductor — except it wasn’t Ringo anymore, but comedian George Carlin. This may say something profound about the legacy of ’60s pop culture — or just that both of them could have read for the same guest spot on The Love Boat. In any event, while Ringo the actor has receded, Ringo the musician has emerged from a nine-year hiatus from the studio with Time Takes Time, an album that’s so sunny and good-spirited you’ll be tempted to pinch it. Most of that tweakability comes on the five tracks produced by Don Was, who gives Ringo more than a little help from his friends — namely a bevy of Beatles babies (Jellyfish’s Roger Manning and Andrew Sturmer, and former Knack-ers Doug Fieger and Berton Averre). Their Liverpudlian-style harmonies infuse tracks such as the jangly, 12-string-driven ”Weight of the World” and the Rubber Soul-ish ”I Don’t Believe You” with an energizing spryness that keeps Ringo on his toes, as well as on key. And heck, on the flat-out rocker ”Don’t Go Where the Road Don’t Go,” produced by Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne, Mr. Starkey sounds ready to kick some serious Blue Meanie butt. Back off boogaloo, indeed.