Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Steven Page “Page One”

Rock/Pop rock
“Page One” is the latest chapter from this former force behind the popular band Barenaked Ladies. Page hasn’t had much of a musical life outside of his 20 plus years with Barenaked Ladies, so there was much speculation about how his solo album would sound. Not surprisingly, as one of the principle songwriters and singers for Barenaked Ladies, much of Page’s solo work sounds very much like what he’s been doing the past two decades. I hasten to add that it is also much more melodic than what Barenaked Ladies has been cranking out of late. “Page One” was released in 2010 and follows two other solo works.

Once again, Page has teamed up with some luminaries in the pop rock as well as singer/songwriter world. He’s co-written songs with Stephen Duffy and Craig Northey (of one of my favorite underrated bands, The Odds). Among the guests making an appearance on the record are Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello), Esthero, the Baird brothers (Feist), and Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket). You’ll also get to hear the late Will Owsley do one of his last recordings.

Appropriately, things begin with a song entitled, “A New Shore”. Page’s instantly recognizable voice jumps right out at you, soon followed by a choir of sweet harmony vocals that are augmented with sweeping strings. The bright acoustic guitar throughout maintains the buoyant atmosphere. “Indecision” dips down into his talents for blending power pop with mild lounge music. The strong lyric that accompanies this tune makes it the perfect choice for a single (check out the video below). “Marry Me” doesn’t come off nearly as corny as it sounds and actually makes the grade for one of the highlights on the record. A hat trick of pop rock perfection brings the album to a satisfying close, starting with the infectious “She’s Trying To Save Me”, followed by the breezy “Over Joy”, and finally the feel good, fun-loving tune “If You Love Me”.

“Page One” is excellent – a brilliant, cohesive record that is a joy to play all the way through. I can’t wait for “Page Two”.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9

Steven Page - Official site.

Check out the video for “Indecision”: