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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Jul 24th, 2017

Little Steven: Soulfire

Little Steven
Soulfire
(Universal Music)

Buy it at Amazon!

If you want find a blueprint to what real rock n roll is, Little Steven can point you in the right direction. As a member of the E Street Band and having played with Bruce Springsteen for 40+ years, the guy has his PhD in rock music and showcases his vast love of it on his new record, Soulfire.

Each song on the album is a microcosm of a style of music that he has picked up over the years, stretching from Motown, to doo-wop, funk, and even nuggets-style, punky, 60s anthems. Little Steven is on full display with Soulfire, you can’t help but hear the Springsteen-ness of a few songs, but he makes them his own with a vengeance. His guitar playing is on point (some may find his singing voice trite and boring) but he must have heard his critics because there is a slew of backup singers with larger than life vocals offsetting his mono-rasp.

My expectations stay low when band members go out on their own and try to forge a name in their own right, most of the time it just doesn’t work. But this record is good, really good, if you like music that is honest rock n roll and will make a summer breeze feel even better.

The title track, “Soulfire” will most certainly warm you up. “I’m Comin’ Back” could be an E Street Band knockoff. “I Saw the Light” leads with a horn section that adds to the fire of the track. “Some Things Just Don’t Change” is soul music on display rarely seen in this millennium. “Love on the Wrong Side of Town” would have been a lead single on anyone else’s record, and is a lovely song to drive home to. “Standing in the Line of Fire” showcases some of that early punk and spaghetti western influence. The stand out song of the record is the lead single, “Saint Valentine’s Day” which, again, rips a page from Springsteen with a memorable chorus of trumpets that burns with small town nostalgia.

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Little Steven: Soulfire