After years of being remembered as that kid on a nickelodeon TV show, Drake Bell has finally broken the mold with Ready Steady Go, a sort-of compilation album with tons of throwback to traditional rock ‘n’ roll. Everything about it screams nostalgia, from the modernized classic rock covers, to the title itself, which is a nod to the British television series of the same name that aired in the ‘60s.
Midway through the album, a song that will find everyone well is a cover of “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me,” which should give you an excellent idea of what’s to come had it appeared much earlier on. In any case, “Sunny Afternoon,” originally by The Kinks, is an excellent way to introduce the concept right away. Drake’s cover is a faithful recreation of songs such as these, and thankfully he doesn’t try too hard to hone in the classic vocal styles, instead preferring to put his own spin on the songs.
Once the style has been set up nicely, Bell hits the listener with a terrific original, “Bull.” It’s tracks like these that really complement the in-between covers, casting a homage back to, in this case, Southern rock and bluegrass, and in other cases greaser swing. “Runaway Boys,” originally by Stray Cats, and “California Man,” do well to highlight these themes the further down the pipes we go with the album.
Fans of Drake Bell’s older work will appreciate “Makes Me Happy,” re-recorded with the overall theme in mind (which is to say, changed drastically from what you might remember of it). It all ends with “Give Me A Little More Time,” a piano-driven ballad that sounds best on vinyl, but equally delivers on digital. The slow, semi-sad and passionate rendition of a classic love song is the absolute best way to close out the album, and the added bonus of having the ever-talented Bell behind the microphone is the bonus the album deserved to finish on.
In A Word: Updated