Dave Stewart

Lucky Numbers

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Dave Stewart never seems settled solo so the abundance of guest stars on Lucky Numbers, his 2013 LP and eighth solo venture, makes perfect sense. Collaboration is his lifeblood. He thrived as a producer in the late '80s and '90s and even now, in the new millennium, he'll run at the chance to form a new consortium, as he did in 2011 when he urged Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and A.R. Rahman to become SuperHeavy. Lucky Numbers, his solo album that appeared two years later, doesn't have the same level of star power but it does make room for Stewart's Nashville pals, with Martina McBride providing the vocals on the single "Every Single Night" -- an excellent adult contemporary tune that will not be played on any radio station anywhere in 2013 -- and Karen Elson, best known as Jack White's ex, popping up on "Nashville Snow." This suggests that it might be a country album, either in the commercial or Americana sense of the word, but it's not, not at all. Lucky Numbers, like all of Stewart's solo albums, funnels his absolutely bizarre ideas through a system that flattens out all their eccentricities. At its core, Lucky Numbers remains a singularly strange record -- there are hints of roots music, either in contemplative country or Cajun-spiked rockers ("One Step Too Far"), or rewrites of "Manic Depression" ("Why Can't We Be Friends") -- but the professional producer within Stewart flattens all of his quirks so the album is slick, sweet, and kind of dull.

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