US - New York - Full Moon 136 - 10/26/07
"Blending poetic introspective lyrics with sixties inspired musical arrangements and lush vocal harmonies". This is the description which is to be found on Steven Marks own homesite. In fact, this is a good description, I think.
Further, Steven gives up Elliot Smith, REM and Crosby, Stills and Nash as inspiration for his music. I still agree. But the most significant comparison is actually the Norwegian singer-songwriter William Hut, former vocalist in the Bergen-based pop group The Poor Rich Ones - probably a coincidence which has a lot to do with the similarity in their voices, but it turns out that they seem to have clear similarities also when it comes to their compositions.
Anyway, Racing Grey is a collection of 13 different songs which both in style and variation. What they all have in common, is a delicate wrapping, both production- and arrangement-wise. My personal favourite is the beatlesque, piano-based "Take Your Place Now", a song which I presume even Sir Paul would have been proud of - if he had written it. Another good sign of Steven's sophisticated musical taste, is the beautiful cover of Burt Bacharach/Hal David's "Always Something There to Remind Me".
But also some of the faster, more guitar-based tracks shows Steven Marks good qualities as both composer and vocalist, for instance the opener "Abingdon Square", the poppy "Angel's World" and of course the aggro-light tune "Paris Hilton Generation", which in full shows the REM-inspirations.
All in all, this is an album with very few, if any, weak points, made by a solid artist which I look forward to hear more from.
Copyright © 2007 Håvard Kløften