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That Music Magazine
Some kind words...
Steve Dunn’s self-titled album (don’t be fooled, this is not his debut) is pretty good new country music. If that’s an unfamiliar genre to you think of it this way: the vocals are a little twangy, the lyrics are from the heart and focused on real life and the music is a little more pop and electric than country used to be.
The best thing about this music is definitely Dunn’s singing. He’s got a nice voice for country or pop. It’s clear and pleasant. What takes him above the average is his great range. On “The One” you get to hear his good control of both that pretty falsetto sound and his strong belting out when the melody climbs up high.
Speaking of “The One,” it’s a track that sounds pretty much honky-tonk and country as you would expect on any regular country album. The CD moves right on, however, to “Lady Luck” which features crunchy rhythm guitar tone and a guitar solo complete with tapping. That’s certainly not the norm! In fact some of the music ranges pretty far from country, so I guess you could equally call Mr. Dunn a cross-over artist. The guitar vamp on “Caught In A Moment” is nearly Latin in its rhythm, and the digital effects have a distinctly adult contemporary pop sound.
While there are no specific songs (or even parts of songs) that I can point to as being musically lacking, I do have a criticism for the album as a whole. It simply doesn’t grab me. There are no moments that draw me in in a personal way or touch my heart, even though the subject matter of some of the songs seem intended to do just that (like “Where I Want To Be” or “Your Friend”). That’s the thing keeping me from giving this CD 4 stars or better, because the playing and singing are good throughout. Anyway, in most every other way this is a strong offering from Steve Dunn. I have no doubt that he will continue to push genre boundaries and record good music. I’d be more than happy to give a listen to his next album when it comes out to see if it hits me any harder than this one did.
Key Tracks- The One, Caught In A Moment, Waste Time
Donny Harvey- MuzikReviews.com Staff
April 19, 2012