Rod at bay: both cuts of this double-A side find Stewart on the defensive, licking wounds inflicted in failed relationships. The subdued, pretty, “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” is much the more effective (even if its clumsy heart-heart rhyme grates), rambling effectively and reminding you that the lothario is at his most dangerous when cornered. It hardly sounds like a No.1, and would work better without the guitar solo or that odd tacked-on key change, but it’s grown on me and I could take another helping or three of that gentle acoustic picking.
“First Cut Is The Deepest” doesn’t work nearly so well. It relies on you buying Rod as a bruised ingénue on the rebound, which is tough going on impossible. The problem with Rod is always one of credibility – right from the start of his career he wrote himself into his songs so indelibly that I’m always prodding his tracks for believability in a way I’d never do for most of his peers. “First Cut” sounds weatherbeaten and cynical, rather than freshly hurt, and it doesn’t help that it’s such a middleweight plod of a song.