Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Steff Adams - Tunings EP

Hear The Track Here

Told you, I'd get to Steff Adams in the last review (of fellow Welshmen Dead Shed Jokers) didn't I? Welp, here the rascal is. Whadda mean, who he?? For the record Steff Adams made a HUGE impression on me with his Blue Pathways CD (April 2010) which subsequently became one of my Tracks Of The Year 2010 and why, you may ask? Because the man is plain just very good at his job, said job being songwriter and singer (let's leave aside all the technical crap most people wouldn't understand anyway) and - believe me - that's a hard one to nail. After all, the world we live in is infested with singer/songwriters, now more so than ever before, so why on earth should we listen to another one? No matter how benevolent I seem, I do guard myself in choosing tracks of the year, they really have to be the best of the best - otherwise there is no point.

No huge surprise then that I fretted this one down the all-consuming Rebel Riffs review list...

Musically, Steff falls into the Beatles acoustic period perfectly, and he has the plain, uncompilcated songs to prove it. I think that even Sir Paul (Ed: good day your majesty) would have a wry chuckle at hearing Hectic Day (the opening track), so comparable the styles. If, however, it looks like Steff is (as it were) milking it a bit, you need to listen closer (and probably more often) than a driveby. That was one of the things Blue Pathways taught me, you really have to let this stuff settle to its own level which means giving it time to establish its true identity. As obvious as the Beatle connection is, that's merely a by-product of Steff's own roots and culture and it's as a songwiter that he really shines. See the same charge could be leveled at our old friend 333maxwell (who would like much of this collection), but as Max most ably shows; it's just the way these guys sound. Damn, they should form a band called Not The Beatles!! We could make a fortune!!! Eerrrr guys (Ed: calm Gilmore, calm)

I wrote 'the emphasis for Steff is most definitely acoustic based pop' in my previous review and nothing on Tunings changes that statement. The shared details are all still in place; an awesome (and home produced) production and arrangement job and some absolutely cracking songs. If I had to pick a standout track on this excellent five track EP I'd pick the short but sweet Bus Stop, an effective and efficient use of all the tools he has available, and it works beautifully. No, it isn't because it's the shortest track on the EP but because IMO it says exactly what Steff Adams is about. There is a huge market for beatle-ish music and there is no doubt in my mind that Steff Adams is a prime exponent in keeping the flame alive and more power to him.

Highly Recommended pop rock.

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