Fogerty sets high standards for himself and thankfully, he has delivered an album that matches his early solo work.
Revival is a particularly apt title for John Fogerty’s latest studio album, as it is his first in over 20 years to break into the US Billboard 200 chart. Fogerty’s last effort to achieve this was the Centerfield album, which reached number one in 1985. Technically, he did enjoy chart success back in 2005 with The Long Road Home, but that was a Best Of compilation, covering his solo work and hit singles with Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Revival is also Fogerty’s first studio album in over 35 years with CCR’s record label, Fantasy, with whom he had a bitter falling-out. But judging by this new opus it appears that most of Fogerty’s wounds have been healed. The listener is able to detect Fogerty’s genuine sense of nostalgia, most specifically on the ‘Creedence Song’. Even the cover hints at a return to the formative years with a sleeve design that echoes the silhouette image of his first solo album, The Blue Ridge Rangers, from 1973.
However, it would be wrong to paint a picture of Fogerty merely revisiting his past. Yes, the first couple of tracks such as ‘Don’t You Wish It Was True’ and ‘Gungslinger’, sound like CCR rock blended with the bluegrass sound of Fogerty’s early solo work. But as the album progresses, the mood becomes more politically aware. On the up-tempo ‘I Can’t Take It Anymore’, Fogerty is critical of America’s foreign policy and accuses the government of lying about the number of casualties the US army has suffered. It seems like Fogerty is singing directly to Bush when he belts out the line: “I’m sick and tired of your dirty little war.”
A known perfectionist (he arranged and produced Revival himself), it has not been unheard of for Fogerty to destroy unreleased material. The man sets high standards for himself. Thankfully, he has delivered an album that matches his early solo work. This album, true to its name, is very much a revival for John Fogerty.