Peter Frampton (Omnivore)
3.5 stars out of 5
Last week, the folks at Omnivore reissued a pair of middling mid-career albums by British guitar rocker Peter Frampton. That trip down memory lane continues this week — to much better effect — with a reissue of 2003’s comeback album “Now.” The surprisingly solid offering was Frampton’s first studio album in nine years and arguably his best record in more than quarter of a century.
Frampton was 53 at the time and his guitar chops had not diminished at all. The 11-track platter features 10 original tunes, plus a jaw-dropping cover of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” a tribute to old pal George Harrison, who died in 2001. Though it might anger Beatle fans to read this, I contend Frampton’s version here is every bit as good as the original.
The rest of the album isn’t quite as impressive, though Frampton and writing partner George Kennedy manage to score with keepers “Flying Without Wings,” “Love Stands Alone,” “I’m Back” and “Greens.” “Now” didn’t recapture the glory days of “Frampton Comes Alive!” … but it showed that Frampton still had some gas left in the tank. (Jeffrey Sisk)