# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Steve Mayone - Unfortunate Son

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 28 / 3 / 2006

Steve Mayone - Unfortunate Son
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Exceptional second album from eclectic singer-songwriter Steve Mayone, which incorporates elements of rock, pop and country

I was one of many who felt that ‘Bedroom Rockstar’, the last album from Steve Mayone in 2004, was an outstanding collection of songs. Two years down the line, in the over-crowded singer-songwriter genre, that album is still being played around these parts. There is always the worry that with such a collection of solid songs taking in rock, pop and country if the artist can deliver the goods on the follow up. All worries are wiped away from the first sounds on this album. On the opening song ‘Beautiful And Dangerous’ we find Mayone’s sweet vocal’s intoning “God bless my mother, she raised me safely, shielding my eyes from the truth of it all” pre-warning a young Mayone about the pitfalls that lie ahead for him when it comes to the matter of girls and broken hearts. Such a song could be over sentimental in lesser hands, but Mayone shows he has not lost his knack for writing thoughtful lyrics coupled with outstanding melodies. With an impressive guitar solo and a chorus to die for (yeah, a chorus, these are proper songs) it’s obvious ‘Bedroom Rockstar’ was no fluke. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, on songs like ‘Beautiful And Dangerous’ Mayone recalls the best of Beatle George Harrison’s work. It’s difficult to pinpoint why as it’s the whole thing, that certain guitar sound, the melody, the whole laid-back feel to the song. Simply put a well-crafted pop/rock song, once heard never forgotten. But Mayone is more, so much more, than a one trick pony. While the sound of the late 60's/early 70's inform much of this album it’s a collection that could have been made at almost any time during the last 40 or so years. The songs are accessible from the off. This isn’t the kind of album that you have to spend time on to appreciate. The only problem with songs that hit home on first listen is that they begin to loose their attraction quickly, but this is not so with the work of Mayone ; as I stated earlier, ‘Bedroom Rockstar’ ( and Mayone has more or less left a winning formula alone ; this album sits nicely alongside his former work) has been in and out of the CD player for 2 years now and still sounds as fresh as it did the first time it went in the tray. Part of this durability is due to the different genres Mayone covers. There’s the pop/rock of that first track, the country/folk of the outstanding ‘Pocketful Of Promises’ (with gorgeous vocals from Clare Burson) a typical stunning Mayone melody highlighting the sadness in lyrics like “when I dig deep into my pockets of promises all I feel are my hands and fists” which is just crying out to be covered by Emmylou Harris. It would be interesting to know who Mayone's influences are. There’s a little of Dylan here, some power pop touches there, a little Byrds jangle shows up in a few places and there’s always this edge, this slight rawness, this feeling that you never know where Mayone is going to take you next. For those whose musical tastes don’t just take in one genre then Mayone is a Godsend. For not only does he skip from style to style over these 12 self-penned songs he does it with ease and extremely well. So well, in fact, I’d be hard pushed to think of any other singer-songwriter who is capable of covering so much ground and doing it so well. Think of it as a ready made mix CD taking in all the various musical genres you like. It’s impossible to highlight just one song for attention. There is no standout song; they are all outstanding. Just now I can’t get enough of the epic 6 minute plus ‘Hour Of The Pearl’ all pedal steel and world weary vocals which wouldn’t have been out of place on Dylan’s ‘Time Out Of Mind’. Mayone has once again presented us with an exceptional album, one that is the equal of the masterpiece he gave us last time. This album is highly recommended.

Track Listing:-
1 Beautiful and Dangerous
2 Iowa
3 Black Poison
4 You Can't Look Inside of Me
5 Pocketful of Promises
6 I'll Be Alright
7 End of the World
8 Time to Think
9 Truckee River
10 Another Lonely Day
11 Hour of the Pearl
12 A Part of Me

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