Somewhere Between album review
It is always with a mixture of excitement and apprehension that I get to listen to the new release of an artist whose previous endeavours have made me, for lack of a better word and in all simplicity, happy (see our review of Steve Pledger’s second album Striking matches in the wind). There is a much needed gift of hope that is exhaled in the melodies and lyrics of a performing songwriter who cares and dares to express this in the various colours of passion. So yes, basically listening to a new offering was always going to be a challenging risk.
So I must say it already: Thank you Steve Pledger. The voice is deceptively calm, the melodies are posed, and the whole thing gives a good feeling. This is more about what the album kindled than trying to define its purpose. Of course, when listening to this collection created in the last year or so, it is obvious that the artist is having, at least in a number of songs, some reactions to the political situation and events that Britain has been going through. It is also clear that the songwriter has a position towards these and his fire has led him before to share his views in music. Unlike his previous efforts though, his opinion is still fresh from the events and might, possibly on purpose, appear to be more direct and more immediate. While this itself has its own charms via its raw honesty, I did miss the slightly subtler touch of a longer brewed lyric at times even when the melody and the sentiment definitely conveyed it. The courage it takes to let yourself depart from previous offerings (Steve even goes into Country/Americana territory with one the tracks) deserves respect.
What I would say as a consequence is that sometimes with such a performer, it is easy to get comfortable in our expectations, to the point that hearing an extension of what we already know of a singer-songwriter can put us in the dangerous complacence of unfacilitating their growth. Because this artist is one of those who can continue to bring in their rhymes, between their lines and on the wave of their melodies a sound and feel that encourages emancipation, mental evolution, and strengthens faith in change against all odds, if anything, we owe him the space and freedom to allow him to evolve beyond the barriers of our expectations.
About Somewhere Between
The album is released on Noisy Dog Records