Essentially a harder-rocking reprise of Every Picture Tells a Story, Never a Dull Moment never quite reaches the heights of its predecessor, but it's a wonderful, multi-faceted record in its own right. Opening with the touching, autobiographical rocker "True Blue," which finds Rod Stewart trying to come to grips with his newfound stardom but concluding that he'd "rather be back home," the record is the last of Stewart's series of epic fusions of hard rock and folk. It's possible to hear Stewart go for superstardom with the hard-rocking kick and fat electric guitars of the album, but the songs still cut to the core. "You Wear It Well" is a "Maggie May" rewrite on the surface, but it develops into a touching song about being emotionally inarticulate. Similarly, "Lost Paraguayos" is funny, driving folk-rock, and it's hard not to be swept away when the Stonesy hard rocker "Italian Girls" soars into a mandolin-driven coda. The covers -- whether a soulful reading of Jimi Hendrix's "Angel," an empathetic version of Dylan's "Mama, You Been on My Mind," or a stunning interpretation of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" -- are equally effective, making Never a Dull Moment a masterful record. He never got quite this good ever again.
Never a Dull Moment Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine