If classic-rock legend Bob Seger’s 17th album turns out to be his last — and there’ve been rumblings — then he’ll be able to say that he went out with style.
On his first album of new material in eight years, the Michigan rocker is in good form. Splitting his content between covers and originals, he continues simply but smartly to think about about girls, cars, life, and love, but also shifts gears into social commentary.
Kicking off with John Hiatt’s rubber burning “Detroit Made,” Seger explores several strains of that old time rock ’n’ roll: the blues-tinged romp “Hey Gypsy,” the country-flavored takes of Steve Earle’s catchy-but-chilling “The Devil’s Right Hand,” and Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson’s “Adam and Eve.”
The title track is a fast-talking strutter brimming with low-down swagger, punchy horns, and a gruff urgency. Seger’s indignation about climate change erupts on the matter-of-fact rocker “It’s Your World,” a laundry list of environmental ills enumerated with a blend of concern, disgust, and sadness. The ambling Wilco/Woody Guthrie favorite “California Stars” is a perfect fit. And “You Take Me In,” a gorgeous acoustic ballad that is equal parts melancholy and optimism, benefits from all the pages Seger’s voice has turned. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL “You Take Me In”
Bob Seger plays the TD Garden Nov. 29