Rick Springfield released the big, bold Songs for the End of the World in 2012, just before he received a boost in credibility from Dave Grohl. The Foo Fighters leader featured Springfield in Sound City, his 2013 feature-length love letter to classic rock, and while its accompanying soundtrack wasn't a smash, it did help shift the conventional wisdom on Rick Springfield. Now, he was celebrated for his power pop and arena rock, two things that helped him land a plum role in Jonathan Demme's 2015 film Ricki and the Flash, where he played a puppy dog foil to Meryl Streep's aging lead. Springfield knocked his role out of the park, allowing himself to be vulnerable and funny, two qualities he sometimes avoids on record. Happily, Rocket Science – the 2016 album that is his first since the great Rick renaissance of the 2010s – finds the rocker acting looser than he's been in years, letting his gift for the frivolous sit alongside his yen to explore his spiritual side.