Steve Forbert - Strange Names and New Sensations 

 

429 Records

Steve Forbert has been recording for 30 years while trying to escape the "new Dylan" albatross hung around his neck by the press.

 

The truth is, while Dylan has hit a couple of fallow periods, he's also hit altitudes Forbert never will reach. But, by keeping close to home stylistically, Forbert has carved out a remarkably consistent, if somewhat predictable, series of good to great albums.

 

Listen to the album opener, "Middle Age," and you almost can sense a shrug of resignation from Forbert.

 

"Simply Spalding Gray" is an arty, synth-heavy tribute to the late, depressed raconteur that sounds like nothing Forbert's done before. Also included are a downright Christian hymn, a good but unnecessary remake of his Seventies hit "Romeo's Tune," a tribute to oddly named New Jersey towns and about four other silly love songs.

 

"Strange Names and New Sensations" is a worthy addition to the Forbert catalogue, but not a world-beater.

 

 "?Tory Troutman

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