Delicate Steve: Positive Force (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Delicate Steve: Wally Wilder
Delicate Steve: Positive Force (Luaka Bop/Southbound)

Appropriately on the usually left-field/world music label Luaka Bop, comes the indie/outsider New Jersey-based multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion who was hailed in the New York Times' review pages with his debut.

Marion writes and records everything himself on this instrumental album (aside from guests on wordless vocals) and manages to meld George Harrison's sentimental slide playing style, a lo-fi Santana in fiddly-twiddle mode and romantic downbeat balladry alongside some eerie Indo-ambient electronic whoopery of no fixed genre and chunky MOR stadium rock as rendered by an indie artist (think a $12 Toto on Afria Talks To You)

Yep, it's an odd concoction and at its best (the vaguely Chinese-cum-Hawaiian sounding title track, the delightfully weightless Luna which closes proceedings) it possesses an uplifting, exotic pop quality.

The opener Ramona Reborn however with lo-fi piano and repetitive fingers-on-blackboard slide guitar isn't the most enticing intro (it makes sense after getting what he's up) and often the impression is of instrumental music in search of a vocalist as the melodies invite lyrics (the Harrison/Beach Boys-like Love).

That said, this is peculiarly engaging stuff because you aren't quite sure where it has come from or is going to.

So an oddly engaging lo-fi second album that bewilders and beguiles. Prepare to be surprised and seduced.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Dodson and Fogg: The Active Listener Introduces . . . (theactivelistener)

Dodson and Fogg: The Active Listener Introduces . . . (theactivelistener)

Dodson and Fogg is the nom de disque for singer-songwriter Chris Wade from Leeds who has four albums under his belt, and sits in that very pleasant area of folkadelica where the references points... > Read more

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Wordsworth, more fool him, peaked early. The first edition of his groundbreaking Lyrical Ballads collection with fellow poet Coleridge was published in 1798 when he was 28. In the following decades... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Del Shannon; The Essential Collection 1961-1991

THE BARGAIN BUY: Del Shannon; The Essential Collection 1961-1991

The dates on this collection look slightly strange: the start date is perfect (his classic Runaway and excellent Hats Off To Larry both date from '61), but a depressed Del  Shannon committed... > Read more

Michael Bloomfield: Blues at the Fillmore 1968-69 (Raven/EMI)

Michael Bloomfield: Blues at the Fillmore 1968-69 (Raven/EMI)

For those who weren't there at the time, some small explanation may be necesary. In the late Sixties it seemed obligatory that every student dive or flat would have a copy of an album featuring... > Read more