US - New York - Full Moon 122 - 09/07/06
You deserve a song, for all the crap you gave me". That's the opening line of Steve Mark's song "Homespun Vanilla Pie". It's a good line and a fairly good song, but I don't feel certain that the girl in question deserves a 14-track album. Well, depending on the amount of crap, you might think.
I'm not saying that Steven Mark's album gives back the equal amount of crap he got. There are some quite gripping songs and some decent pop-arrangements here that should absolutely get the girl, "Fairmaiden" she might be, thinking. But he makes some twists and turns on his way through this story that loses me on the way. You know that feeling, when the "wrong" chord suddenly breaks the mood and sends you off thinking about your dishes. And somewhere through the first half of this album I actually went and did them.
Maybe he simply stretches too far and wide in his material. Track 10, "Narcissus", brings Marillion to my mind and is followed by "You've seen it all", which opens like a Neil Young-song but unfortunately takes a swing and turns into something much more tricky.
Lyrically, there's some stuff in here that don't quite sit well with me. Lines like "just don't overphone me" certainly gets me thinking. Maybe that's just what he's done, he's overphoned me. A couple of chords too many, one too many harmony back-ups, pushing that extra cliché too far. Closing the album with "In From The Rain" sends me looking for Cat Stevens' "Father and Son" in my shelves, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
Copyright © 2006 Anders Svendsen