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Steve Robinson | Undercurrent

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Pop: Beatles-pop Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
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by Steve Robinson

More poppy folk-rock musings and Beatle-pop confections from the transplanted English closet-folkie.
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wooden Hill
4:31 $0.99
2. Please Emmalene
3:56 $0.99
3. The Best Days Of Your LIfe
3:35 $0.99
4. Love Is Real
4:51 $0.99
5. Wasted And Waiting
4:18 $0.99
6. Forget About Love
4:10 $0.99
7. Road To Ruin
3:49 $0.99
8. Class Clown
3:35 $0.99
9. Boring God
3:08 $0.99
10. I'm In Trouble (Again)
4:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Undercurrent" is the second solo Sunshine Drenchy Records release from the ex-Roger McGuinn sideman and former voice of Florida's folk-rock darlings, the Headlights.
Unlike 2005's DIY dark horse "Away For The Day","Undercurrent" is more of a collaborative affair and benefits from the sympathetic (bordering on telepathic, according to Steve) efforts of co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Ed Woltil(The Ditchflowers). It also features veteran drummer Chuck Darling(Nineveh Project); a guest spot from Celtic fiddler Victor Gagnon(Seven Nations,Rathkeltair), as well as some harmony vocal help from Steve's ten year-old daughter, Emma, who managed to nail her parts in two takes (her dad could learn something)
On offer is a song of love and commitment (Love Is Real); an expression of awe at the bond between a parent and a child (Please Emmalene); a nursery rhyme-infused homage to a dearly departed mother (Wooden Hill), and an old-timey, music-hall influenced singalong remembrance of schooldays past (The Best Days Of Your Life).
Lest the view appears a little too much like an exercise in ever-sentimental, rose-tinted nostalgia, Robinson also tosses in a rather disquieting strangled-folk rumination on global religious conflict (Road To Ruin); a tale of drunken excess, emotional disconnect and failed ambition(Wasted And Waiting) and an apologetic lament on the pervasive celebrity worship culture that we humans seem content to wallow in (Boring God). A little undercurrent, you might say.

"Every cut is a crystalline gem" --Luke Torn, Uncut Magazine

"Undercurrent is often gorgeously melodic -- the ballad "Love is Real" borders on majestic -- and Robinson's clear, controlled tenor is the perfect conduit." --Eric Snider, Creative Loafing.

" ...his sound here straddles the divide between folk and pop without ever losing sight of melody... It's too bad this missed the cut for my Top 50 list, as I had just received the disc while compiling it. Rest assured, it will be near the top when the year-end Top 100 rolls around." --Stephen Ferra, Absolute Powerpop.

"...brilliant melodies, beautiful harmonies and songwriting that captures the best of Anglo and American pop" --Curtis Ross, Tampa Tribune

"...his songwriting and guitar playing are, as his label suggests, drenched in sunshine." --David Cowling, Americana UK.

"...occasionally an album as brilliant as this comes along unexpectedly and reminds me why music means so much to me and those around me. Words really can’t do this album justice, it really does need to be heard especially if the sound of classic melodic pop music is close to your heart.
This CD is one I’ll carry with me." --Malcolm Carter, Penny Black Music(UK).



to write a review

Bruce Kula

It's brilliant. So what did you expect?
I had the luck to have Richard Thompson’s latest CD and Steve Robinson’s latest CD arrive the same day. Now, I think competition has no place in art, so I won’t tell you whose CD I played first; but it says a lot about Steve Robinson that I wasn’t happy to have to make that choice.

Breathe relief, Robinson fans: "Undercurrent" dodges the sophomore jinx. It arguably is no sophomore effort anyway, although it’s the second CD under Robinson’s moniker, since he was writing and recording killer pop songs as a Headlights member ages ago. No, there was no shortage of songs as good or better than the ones on the magnificent "Away for the Day", his first solo album. In fact, I had the joy of witnessing him play about 20 candidates for the new CD in various stages of completion. Robinson’s problem was finding the time to polish an album’s worth of songs to the shimmering sheen we expect from a singer/songwriter of his rank.

So what do we get? Good clean fun; wistful celebrations of a past more interesting than ours; Corrs-like interludes; guitar work that should be taught in schools; pop with a folk sensibility that never lets us forget he has a foot in that scepter’d isle; rock and roll; more melody than you’ll find in a whole day’s listening to my wife’s favorite station; a bracing dose of what Richard Thompson winkingly calls Celtschmerz; and skyscraping harmonic structures that would evoke tears of joy in Paul McCartney. In other words, pretty much your usual Steve Robinson record.

And, okay, I admit it. I played the Richard Thompson CD second.

Mark Cohen

Second Album Syndrome? No way!
Steve Robinson has again recorded one of the most melodic albums of the year. Whereas 'Away For The Day' was mostly one man and his Korg recorder, on 'Undercurrent' he has collaborated with other musicians to create a album of pristinely crafted songs. There is more of a Celtic tinge to the production, but the melodies, lyrics, and performance are as top class as you would expect. Personal favourites include poptastic 'Wooden Hill', the beautiful 'Love Is Real' and brooding 'Road To Ruin'. Excellent!

Rob Lincoln

"Elegantly crafted Beatlesque folk-rock of the highest calibre"
For anyone who enjoys the solo work of George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney or enjoys that little band they were in, you should particularly appreciate this cd. Robinson was born and raised in England and sings with a delightful British accent that is slightly reminiscent of at least one or more of the Fab Four. His songs incorporate influences from at least three of them (sorry Ringo). I also hear a bit of Al Stewart, Michael Penn, mid period Bee Gees and ELO in his melodic and lyrical sensibilities. Still all his songs are completely fresh and original....(go to cdreviewsonline.com for more)

Dave Altoft

Instantly familiar tunes. Improves with each play. Another GR8 CD.
Well,first impressions count for a lot. I first played the cd in my car on a long drive. Later that day I found myself humming various tunes which I could not identify at first - it was only later I realised that the tunes I found so familiar were Steves quirky homegrown tunes.Celtic touches mixed with Beatles/folk influences sound great. Says something if music makes such an instant impression after one play. Now the album is on the ubiquitous iPod - in my favourites playlist. Good work Steve Robinson - he's wasted, in more ways than one. Keep up the good work! (PS: who is the good looking kid with the life saver ring?)