Sunday, April 18, 2010

Steff Adams - Blue Pathways CD

Hear The Track Here

A review now from the Rebel Riffs blog, which seems to be turning into a great source of new, unheard musicians. Almost all of the review requests I am getting from there are from artists I have never heard of before and given my steady Soundclick diet, that can only be a good thing. Tired ears are ****** ears. Steff Adams, his website declares, ' is a Welsh singer songwriter from Cardiff, UK. He writes and records most of his material at home' and there is a familiar refrain eh mateys. Other than the location, it applied to several dozen million of us internet musicians, but I digress (Ed: as usual). Tell you what though, he has a very smart looking site which shows that he has the right attention to the presentational side.

Bodes well for the music, d'ya think?

Well, put it like this, the last time I got so worked up about a solo artist was with Alex Highton last year and the quality he brought to the party, Steff Adams has in equal measure. Funnily enough they cover the same musical ground too, although I think Alex tends to be wordier. The emphasis for Steff is most definitely acoustic based pop with an incredible Beatle-ish feel and a knack for knowing how to bring out a tune (and being able to carry it vocally too). The chief influences being either Harrison and MacCartney rather than Lennon so don't expect anything rough edged. So mentioning those two names should conjure up images of complex, but devastatingly pretty music that envelopes you in feel good vibes. Takes a rare talent to carry this off successfully and it takes a rare talent indeed to even begin to think they could even do it, let alone sound confident while doing so. If you are not convinced by Should Have Stayed Home (the first track), then I don't think any of the other tracks from this 10 track CD will interest you either. Mind you, I'd have to think you were out of your mind because this is extremely classy stuff - whatever your preference.

I mention Should Have Stayed Home because it turned out to be one of my favourite tracks from this excellent, if low key, selection of pop goodies. Moreover, considering this was produced 'at home', it's surprisingly clear, crisp and punchy, a great job all round. Funnily enough (and on a much more parochial note) the tracks I really latched onto all reminded me of the work of Soundclick veterans Silvertrain around the time of The One To Blame CD (2004 or so), and I'm sure that anyone on that site will instantly recognise the truth of that statement. The strength and quality of work that Steff has poured into each of the ten tracks shows the same attention to detail as creating a sharp online image, the image and music are very, very professional indeed. As well as being a very lucid songwriter, Steff is also a formidable arranger and musician, showing us many different sides of his particular style. About the only negative thing I can say is that the Beatles/MacCartney did get a bit wearing over a few plays but I never liked that side of the Beatles much anyway, being a rough hewn son of the rock. Nonetheless, this is a classic opportunity to catch up with a very interesting artist indeed, especially if my review has done him any justice.

Awesome Beatles inspired collection of songs. MUST HAVE.

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