"Rockin'" Rod Stewart: "Forever Young"

Longtime British rocker Rod Stewart is back with his first album of original songs in over a decade. Stewart has spent the past decade belting out Great American Songbook staples by the likes of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter.But while it seemed unlikely that the man behind 1971's soulful and chart-topping "Maggie May" would ever pen another original, he's back with a songwriting vengeance on "Time," released on Tuesday. Eleven of the album's dozen songs were written and produced by Stewart. "Songwriting's never been easy for me," Stewart tells USA TODAY. "I treat every line as a jewel. I'll go back and change something if it's not right. Change the rhythm. Change rhymes. But it was cathartic in a way."

Although he admits that he thought his muse had abandoned him, revisiting his life story for 2012's "Rod: The Autobiography," helped open the emotional floodgates. Time's tracks tackle events such as an early romance that produced a child who was given up for adoption and the pain of divorce, which he has endured twice. Stewart's songwriting forte has always been conjuring a memorable line and then cementing it in the listener's memory with that inimitable emotive rasp. Think "Tonight's the Night" and "You're in My Heart." Even more so, think "Maggie May," whose "Wake up, Maggie, I think I got something to say to you" opener forever captures the heartache of a Mrs. Robinson relationship. Rod was at his rockin' best Wednesday night on the NBC smash singing competition show, "The Voice," singing his latest single, "Finest Woman," and the classic "Forever Young," where he directed traffic with a few of the final 12 contestants who joined him on "Forever Young." Vintage Rod...

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