I Have To Go is the debut full-length release from Hull based singer-songwriter,
Steve Reed. His debut release, And So On And So Forth was a promising, yet
ultimately one-dimensional record that nevertheless showcased the potential
of his considered approach to guitar pop.
This new release sees significant steps being taken to rectify this as a much wider
mix of musical styles and ideas are blended together to create a richer, more varied record.
By enlisting the help of a group of contrasting musicians, he neatly sidesteps the
well-trodden path of the regular singer-songwriter.
It's an ambitious move that is generally handled with sensitivity, as the danger is that some of his individual style may be lost in the process.
Possibly his finest moment is on Then Today as the vocal by Emma Rugg and piano
from Steve Bell really add emotional weight, while the strutting guitar solo
from James (Baz) Barraclough of The Dirty Dreamers offers an unexpected
dimension to Three Small Words.
Where this isn't so effective generally serves to draw out his strengths.
The use of a backing band on the opening track Wait sacrifices some clarity
for volume and highlights that he works most effectively outside of a band
dynamic, although Before I'd Said A Word demonstrates that he can arrange a band
in a way that compliments his solo sound.
With an enviable ear for a discernable melody, he is undoubtedly at his
finest when he strips a song down and lets its simplicity speak for itself.
By primarily using only his vocal, guitar and a string section,
Especially When The Face Looks Like Yours and Idle Promise both demonstrate
a McCartney-esque appreciation of how to construct and deliver a simple,
yet paradoxically complex song.
I Have To Go sees Steve Reed reinforce his reputation as a fine lyric writer,
but it does open him up to some criticism of treading water on occasion.
Although the lyrics are always considered and measured, thematically there is
little variation and he picks up where the mini-album left off.
Although it may be tempting to place him in the same category as major
league singer-songwriters such as Damien Rice and James Blunt, he
undoubtedly offers more, much more in the way of integrity and sincerity. The lyrics have an honest and direct quality that convinces that he means every last word of them.
The musical growth and inventiveness that he demonstrates suggests that a widening of the lyrical subject matter or maybe even viewing things from a different perspective will inevitably follow.
I Have To Go is the work of a rapidly maturing talent. By utilising the different skills and attributes of various other musicians as well as his own attributes, he adds a fresh perspective to what could have been just another take on a well-trodden musical style.
Minor quibbles aside, when he manages to combine these different elements, Steve Reed is more than capable of taking on, and bettering, much more established acts with vastly superior budgets and PR machines.
CD launch party; The Adelphi, Hull - 12th August, 2005.
Album Reviews - David Wrench - The Atomic World of Tomorrow By Steve Rudd
This ten-song-strong masterpiece of an LP is in a league of its own, as this
David Wrench character proves to be something of an Alt-Pop-loving genius in his own right.
Boldly opening with World War 4, this upbeat tune is literally out of this
world and heaving with the chorus-based pop elements of Erasure and Duran Duran
in their musical prime.
Album Reviews - Emma Rugg - Oceans / Depart EP By Steve Rudd
Since Hull singer-songwriter Emma released her fabulous debut album
Isolated Impression, her song writing style has changed somewhat,
with this five-track EP being the perfect showcase for two brand new
songs (in Oceans and Depart), along with appearances from her older
tunes When I Looked At You and Prelude To The EndRead more...
Singles Reviews - Chart Review 18th July 2005 with DJ Chris Plant
Sorry I haven't done any chart reviews in a while. I've been busy with my American girlfriend.
Well, we have a new Number One single this week.
Just for a change it isn't a new release that has been hyped to the hills or a record bought
in bulk by a small hardcore of fans that will struggle to appeal to a wider
Single Reviews - Morning Runner - Gone Up In Flames (Parlophone) By Steve Rudd
Morning Runner are fast-becoming one of the nation's most exciting rock bands, and here
they follow-up their fabulous Drawing Shapes EP with yet another masterpiece of a
tune that is in truth an epic anthem.
Their second single Gone Up In Flames is an upbeat and fast-paced pop-rock cut
of staggering and mesmerising proportions, and their sublime and emotion-toiling
sound might remind some folk of Terris.
Single Reviews - The Blue Van - Revelation of Love (TVT) By Steve Rudd
It isn't every day that a quality rock band sails across the North Sea with such
bold and ambitious intentions as Denmark outfit The Blue Van.
This is their debut single which is taken from their Art Of Rolling album, with this
tune being unflinchingly propelled by a rock hard angular guitar riff that attacks
the senses like a sledgehammer to the groin.
Album Reviews - Ipanema - Me Me Me (Boss Tuneage Records) By Nick Quantrill
Me Me Me is the debut mini-album from Hampshire based punk-rockers, Ipanema.
Without falling wholly into the punk or rock camp, Ipanema are hammering out
guitar heavy tunes that rock with the best of them, whilst still retaining an
infectiously fresh melodic approach.
The welding together of big guitar riffs with harmonies and up-lifting choruses
maybe isn't that surprising
Single Reviews - Idlewild - El Capitan (EMI) By Steve Rudd
Idlewild have been strutting their rock wares now for the best
part of ten years, and yet their music is still constantly surprising and genuinely thrilling.
This single release comes from the quintet's latest, and arguably greatest, album
in Warnings/ Promises, and is even more of a sad, sad song than their
Love Steals us From Loneliness anthem that has
Music, Bands - Tidy Mind Band Biog
Tidy Mind are ...
James Atkinson - Vocals/Rhythm Guitar.
Lyle Jarvis - Lead Guitar.
RichtitchLovelock - Drums.
littleMikey Goulding - Bass Guitar.
Tidy Mind is a Psychedelic Blues-Rock band.
The band came together when Lyle and James became friends a few
years ago and started jamming occasionally, hoping that one day
Album Reviews - Screaming Tarts Compilation Album By Steve Rudd
A genuinely thrilling compilation album can often be impossible to find, so this refreshing
blast of largely Glam-garnished rock 'n' roll action is welcome relief indeed.
Especially in this day and age when so many people still think that the pop-pouting
Now releases are the ultimate be-all and end-all of compilation albums.
This 17-track wonder,
Album Reviews - Jeff Caudill - Here's What You Should Do (Fortunate Son Records) By Nick Quantrill
If evidence was ever needed that old punks don't die, they transform into singer-songwriters with an itch to
scratch, Jeff Caudill personifies this. Cutting his teeth fronting acclaimed US pop-punkers Gameface, his solo career sees him ease his foot off the pedal and kick-back without losing any impact or bite.
Caudill's trump-card is his ability to craft instantly memorable songs that swing with
Album Reviews - The Vultures - Rebel Yelp By Caroline Murphy Photos - 23rd April 05 at The Adelphi By Michelle Dee
Listening to this 6+ track EP conjured up images of black drain pipes and pudding basin haircuts,
the retro 60's feel seeped from every groove.
The distinctive guitar riffs and rhythm in most of the tracks could have come straight from the dark
and smoky atmosphere of The Cavern, and I'm sure The Vultures dream that their success
will equal that of the most famous band to come
Single Reviews - Be There (Freezer Recordings) By Steve Rudd
This single is heart-warming indie-pop music of the highest order, from a fresh quartet
that is fronted by the naturally talented singer and guitarist Leon Black.
The band's chirpy Be There anthem is a perfect summer-suited tune for the masses
to smile along to, being an electro-edged gem - and hugely commercial to boot.
B-side Prozac Generation is just as poppy, while the Dirty Blue GeneRead more...
Single Reviews - Tsar - Band-Girls-Money (TVT) By Steve Rudd
This cracking single is taken from the band's latest album, the follow-up to their debut LP that came out some five years ago, back in the year 2000.
Tsar hail from LA where they have a strong following, but more and more people over here in the UK are fast -tracking their passions in favour of Tsar and their quest for worldwide domination.