Friday 26 May 2017

LITTLE STEVEN - "SOULFIRE", Released 19 May 2017 via Wicked Cool Records/UMG - ALBUM REVIEW

I know Little Steven by reputation obviously but I don't know the artist per se. This is actually the first album I have listened to from him. I know, I know, shame on me and all that!!!

The least I can say is that it starts really well with Soulfire, the first title. It's a great track, horns, backing vocals, nice rhythm guitar. The song makes me think about a soft version of Joe Cocker in a more subtle and less shouty kind of way. :-)

I Am Coming Back sounds like Bruce obviously, Blues Is My Business would sit well on a Robert Cray album. Out of the 12 tracks I quite like I am Standing In A Line of Fire and the vibrant Down & Out Of New York City, a faux jazzy theme landing on more rocky chorus. A cool tune that could easily pass for a missing soundtrack from Shaft.

The rest of the album is pleasant. It sounds very E Street and the Bruce fans will probably applause with their three hands. Well produced and nicely written. You cannot help but thinking that the album is a bit stuck in a time warp.

With the calibre of Little Steven one could have expected a little bit more in terms of innovation or introspection. It seems to me that risk taking has been parked. Now this is not about saying that the legendary guitarist and actor has delivered a collection of B-Sides on his latest album because Ride the Away or I saw The Light are very solid tracks. But still you miss a certain rock'n'roll urgency.

Overall I like the album and you may too - albeit you won't be surprised, especially if you like Bruce.

Overall: Cool but predictable.
If I was To Pick 3 only: Ride the Away, Soulfire, Down & Out Of New York City
Live test: Now you are talking :-)

Reviewed by Pascal Derrien

No comments: