Steve Forbert is now over 30 years into his career and has just released his 14th studio album. He does not re-invent the wheel with Over With You. While the topics may have changed with the passage of time, his music has remained essentially the same. If you like one Steve Forbert album, the chances are you will like them all.
He is basically a singer/songwriter who treads the line between folk and pop. It all coalesces into his unique brand of roots or Americana music.
His newest release is a sparse affair, which keeps the focus on his strength as a songwriter. He has always had the abilty to write poetic lyrics that tell a story. Here he writes and sings about love and relationships and the pain and sorrow that accompanies them many times. It is one of the more personal albums of his career.
Musicians Ben Sollee (cello and bass), Jason Yates (keyboards), Michael Jerome (drums), and Sheldon Gomberg (electric and upright bass) provide the basics. A highlight is the cello work by Sollee, which adds some unique depth and textures to some of the material.
The first and last tracks are a microcosm to what lies in between. “All I Asked of You” is a bleak introduction to the album as it sets the tone for some of the painful observations that will follow. “Sugarcane Plum Fairy,” possibly the album’s strongest track, is a sprawling piece that traces the renewing of an old relationship, which ends in some unsettling realizations.
If there is one thing he has always been able to do, it is write a song and there are really no week tracks among the ten contained on the album. “In Love With You” has a bluesy feel to it with guest Ben Harper providing some tasty slide guitar. “Can We Get Together” looks at long distance relationships. “Baby I Know” is a welcome relief as it finds his wit shining through in this up-tempo romp.
The years have passed for Steve Forbert and he has produced a mature but solemn album. It ultimately proves to be another interesting stop on his life’s journey. It’s worth going along for the ride.