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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Pop > Steve Andrews - Beyond From Within (CD)

Steve Andrews - Beyond From Within (CD)


Sound: C+     Music: C+



Ambition is a very important thing to have in music today and particularly in Rock and Pop Music, it is sadly missing.  Sometimes, you get someone who has good taste and gives it his or her best to put an album together and so many ideas are swirling together that good intents get lost.  This is the case with singer/songwriter Steve Andrews’ new album Beyond From Within (2009), whose liner notes claim the culmination of the ten tracks are meant to create a psychedelic effect, though none of the songs sound older than the early 1970s and never like songs from that 1960s cycle.


His singing is not bad either, but the sum of what we get is more miss than hit.  The tracks include:


1)     Today, Today

2)     Seven Strangers

3)     Picture

4)     Sidewalk Songs

5)     Temper My Desire

6)     Forever Road/Lonely Penny

7)     Between The Rain

8)     Soul Traveler

9)     Eight Card Majesty

10)  Darkest Before The Bleedin’ Dawn



If anything, the early songs sound like early 1980s New Wave (Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, U2 songs in that vein, etc.) and they are not bad at that, but they never go beyond sounding like one of those types of songs and have nothing new to day.  Some lyrics are decent, others are predictable, but he does have the idea of what those songs are supposed to sound like down to the themes.


The liner notes we received with our copy touts the album too highly without giving the listener a chance to hear for themselves and should have used that space to discuss other concepts or how the album was technically produced.  Track 6 makes him sound like Gordon Lightfoot, while snippets of some of Progressive Rocks’ more interesting acts (think Emerson, Lake & Palmer) inform some of the style throughout whether he realizes it or not.


However, it is the final track that is a departure from the rest of the album, with an almost dance-like backbeat and a more challenging arrangement as compared to the other tracks.  The biggest disappointment is that he has a good singing voice, but these songs (and their arrangements) rarely challenge it.  I know it is the style he has chosen, but that will not help him in the long run.  However, letting loose would not hurt him next time around.


The PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo is a bit rough, though my copy was a press copy and I expect some of the sonic limits are form the transfer and not the masters.  He certainly knows how to get these songs layered to sound like the songs we’ve heard before, but there was no new kind of sound to be gained from this despite the efforts to make it sound good.  Even with that, this sounds better than many of the bad songs the record labels have been peddling for a quick buck, so I will give him credit where credit it due.


Beyond From Within is interesting even when it does not work and enough so that I will be curious what Andrews does next.  He has potential to go further if he just concentrates more.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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