Seasick Steve – Love & Peace
Lyrically cohesive and nature-bound, Seasick Steve’s new album Love & Peace brings forth ragged earthy tunes and retrospection. His latest release offers tracks that are fresh and revitalising if listened to on their own, but while the record is charming, with a softer edge, it remains quite repetitive and somewhat tiresome towards the end. Each song has something to offer, but it all gets lost in the overall production, making it slow to consume in one sitting.
The title track is a very welcome start delivering upbeat groove and funk. As the opener, it creates a precedent for what to expect. Following smoothly after is Regular Man, a cool blues and folk number with a sprinkle of soft rock that perfectly lives up to its name. Carni Days and Church of Me are two of the chosen singles. The former has the most lyrical sensibility; each crack of Steve’s voice adds to the eerie flare of the storytelling. The latter is aggressively upbeat, with the quiver of his voice similar to the preachy rasp of sermons.
Another standout song is Ain’t Nothing Like the Boogie, which smoothly transitions in from My Woman. A mix of indie, funk, folk and blues, its instrumental break has its own style separate from all the other tracks. Mercy hums with melancholic lyrics and has a different tone compared to the rest of the collection, cutting through the sameness and rhythmic repetition. Regardless of how short it is, this kind of number is something the record very much needed. As a closer, it thematically and lyrically circles back to that first track and branches into the theme of love and peace, tying the album together.
Overall, Love & Peace is a cohesive listen. The lyrics flow and transition well from one number to the next and all of the songs have the same rhythmic foundation. There’s a familiar pattern of vibrations that strum throughout the playlist, complementing the evocative words. However, this use of repetition is undermined by the length and slow progression of the tracks, most of which are composed of long instrumentals. This record caters well to longtime Seasick Steve fans, but new listeners may take a while to appreciate the nuance and delicacies of his music.
Love & Peace is released on 24th July 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Seasick Steve’s website here.
Watch the video for Church of Me here: