Ringo Starr, "Y Not"

Album Review
3.5
<p><a href="/artist/ringo-starr/5751">Ringo Starr</a> has always done best with a little help from his friends, be it with the Beatles in the '60s or the company of high-profile contributions to his solo albums. The big guns are firing again on his newest release, "Y Not," and to good effect. <a href="/artist/joe-walsh/5979">Joe Walsh</a>, <a href="/artist/dave-stewart/107391">Dave Stewart</a>, <a href="/artist/richard-marx/84143">Richard Marx</a>, <a href="/artist/van-dyke-parks/5381">Van Dyke Parks</a> and <a href="/artist/joss-stone/533313">Joss Stone</a> (who duets on the gritty album-closer "Who's Your Daddy") help Starr write some of his best and most poignant songs in years. Such All-Starr Band alumni as Walsh, <a href="/artist/gary-wright/6057">Gary Wright</a>, <a href="/artist/edgar-winter/58068">Edgar Winter</a> and <a href="/artist/billy-squier/5740">Billy Squier</a> join <a href="/artist/ben-harper/68121">Ben Harper</a>, Benmont Tench and <a href="/artist/don-was/113918">Don Was</a> in bringing their chops to the party. And the marquee guest-fellow Fab <a href="/artist/paul-mccartney/5162">Paul McCartney</a>-delivers, too, laying a loping bassline into the song "Peace Dream" (which name-checks <a href="/artist/john-lennon/5052">John Lennon</a>) and a haunting echo vocal into the string-laden "Walk With You." The ever-optimistic Starr tells us he's "tired of being negative" at the album's outset. It's certainly hard to be anything but positive in this kind of company.-Gary Graff</p>