Artist: William Steffey
CD: Roadstar (Aquariphone Records)
Quote: "Occasionally brings to mind the works of Steely Dan".
By Suzanne Glass
This CD really surprised me. Maybe that's because William Steffey is creating
something not easy to pin down. Oh, it is pop music, that's obvious. But the
way he makes the sounds, using unique stylistic combinations and somehow making
them sound familiar, is fresh and catchy. And oh-so-radio-friendly, something
not lost of a number of college radio stations that are currently spinning the
Steffey plays all the instruments on the disc, and plays them all well (thankfully,
since many musicians who play everything succumb to a certain lack of vision
and ability). In addition, the arrangements are extremely effective, adding
the right backing vocal or lick in exactly the right place.
The songs are quite melodic and grooving musically, utilizing walls of heavy
rhythm guitars, electronic synths, cool lead guitar, and creative vocals. It's
a unique combination that works perfectly, and occasionally brings to mind the
works of Steely Dan. The lyrics depict a sharp wit and wisdom and often engage
in meaningful social commentary.
The production on Roadstar is exceptional, clean and clear at times, noisy
and aggressive when required. The CD was mastered by an old friend, David Torrey
of DRT Mastering
in New Hampshire, and I'm glad to see his work still sounds great.
My song picks: Ashland, Grow Crazy, Diabetic, and Snowangels.