Album – Undercurrent – Steve Robinson

Posted by admin on September 26th, 2007

Anyone who has an association with Roger McGuinn from the Byrds, is certainly going to cause my ears to prick up big time. However I didn’t find out that Steve sometimes sings harmonies with Roger McGuinn, until after I had his album in my hands. Not that it would have made much difference, as I heard a few tracks before requesting the album and really enjoyed what I heard.

This is very much a feel good record. I find myself returning to it frequently, as it never fails to deliver that feel good factor, especially needed after a hard day at work. The album opens with “Wooden Hill”, a very jangly, lazy day summer kind of song and you can’t help but wonder if Roger’s influence is in there somewhere. “Please Emmalene” takes a subtle change in direction and immediately reminded me of Harry Chapin, with a smattering of one of my other favorite Indie Launchpad bands, 3 Blind Mice.

“The Best Days of Your Life” is one of those killer tracks. Not only because the lyrics and music are great, which they are, but also because it’s able to evoke very strong memories, specifically my childhood school days. When I went to school in England, school uniforms were the order of the day. I can remember the first few weeks, arriving at school with nicely pressed shirt and trousers. A school blazer, emblazoned with our school’s badge, nicely dusted a top a perfectly tied, school colours tie. A few weeks in and your standards begin to slide, not because you can’t be bothered, but you want to mix in with the rest of the school and not have the “I’m a Target” look. Ah yes, those were the days. Brilliant stuff.

“Love is Real”, has that McCartneyesque vocal style to it, with wonderful keyboards and is that tubular bells I hear. There’s also a very interesting, almost George Harrison guitar solo, in the middle, giving this track a real assortment of interesting influences. Although I generally love slower, ballad style songs, I get much more satisfaction from the tracks of Steve’s that are slightly more up tempo, “Wasted and Waiting” being a prime example. “Forget About Love” is another one, that has your feet tapping and head bobbing.

“Road to Ruin” sounds a tad like a Cat Stevens song and yet again I find myself making comparisons, but they bubble so vigorously in my mind’s eye, that it’s almost a sin not to mention them. “Class Clown” leads us into the last few tracks and you can almost hear that it’s the tail end of the album, which suggest to me that this is a very well balanced album. I thought “Boring God” was going to be my least favorite track, as the beginning is pretty uninspiring, but again as soon as Steve’s vocals start, the song comes alive. “I’m in Trouble (Again)”, almost takes me back to my childhood again, but we won’t go there. It rounds the album off nicely and something that I feel is very important in a CD. I like to feel like I’ve experienced something. Like a good book, I generally like a beginning, middle and end, and this is a perfect example.

Conclusion : I love this album and return to it often. You really can’t get a better recommendation than that. Looking forward to what the future may bring.

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