I’ve been lucky enough to provide some graphic design assistance to Steve Case on some of his previous CD releases. Before that and since, I’ve been a fan of his dedication to what I consider honest and real music. He’s an artist and I’m glad I’ve managed to work with him. So, as I’ve done before with my previous semi-reviews of music I’ve had a bias towards, I continue with my music review series. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience this new EP by Steve and either be taken back to the times where people wrote songs that were long lasting or experience that sensation for the very first time. Either way, lucky you.
With each new release Steve puts together I’ve always felt that his music and song writing improved. With this EP, I feel he’s absolutely produced his best work yet. The songs themselves are written and performed in a way that take me back to my own childhood when I grew up listening to bands/performers like Bread, Cat Stevens and America. As much as I am a true heavy metal fan and lover (\m/), I’ll always have a soft spot for music that reminds me of those moments when I truly developed a love for music—the 70s. Lo-Fi Lullabies does that for me with every single track. In particular, tracks Lonely for You and It’s Time are produced to absolute perfection. I’ve been waiting for some Steve Case songs to come along that highlight those harmonies that I always knew were possible. This album has them and I love it.
I need to highlight another element of bias I have towards this album (and a lot of the Steve Case recordings I’ve heard/acquired). I’m a personal friend of the guy who plays guitar on these recordings with Steve. James Speet is an underrated talent and I love the way he approaches the guitar element—something I look for in any song I listen to—for all of Steve’s songs. James adds guitar parts that are a true accompaniment to the song and not solo for the sake of a solo. In these songs, the guitar works as an additional vocalist. Having said that, the guitar works perfectly on this EP. Whether I knew James or not, the guitar parts would work.
Perhaps another aspect that makes this EP so much better than the previous releases (that I also loved) is the production and mastering. Lo-Fi Lullabies was mastered by Brad Blackwood (a Grammy award winner for his engineering work on Alison Krauss’ Paper Airplane in 2012). We all know mastering makes a difference and I’m certain Brad’s work has had a massive impact on the tracks Steve has put together for this latest EP. The songs have greater depth than earlier releases.
Lo-Fi Lullabies is six tracks of feel-good easy listening music that I could listen to on repeat for ages. I can say that with certainty as I’ve been doing that for quite some time already today. Go listen to Devil on my Shoulder and then buy the EP on iTunes. If you like good music, I think you’ll be glad you made the purchase. You’ll also be supporting an artist who simply needs to keep making music.