‘Somewhere Between’ from Steve Pledger - music with presence that commands attention(November 18, 2016)
Listening to a Steve Pledger is a personal and close experience because he’s one of those artists with a preciously intimate delivery ... from the first you’re in the room with him, right there listening to a voice so involving that you have to listen. There’s no way his new album is background music, 'Somewhere Between' is music with presence, it’s ‘front and centre’ and commands attention.
‘To Change The World’ opens and immediately you’re there, singing about songs that could ‘change a heart’ and perhaps spread that change to wider experience. His narratives look at life with a sideways glance and a head-on unblinking stare, both giving views that allow understanding and enable acceptance, listen to ‘Where’d You Get That Heart From? and ‘The Right To Be Wrong’ and all will become clear. There’s a savage honesty to ‘Doing Well’ that uses heavy doses of ironic observation with its caustic lyrics, and on the subject of truth it doesn’t come much more direct than in ‘Other’, which Pledger conveys with precision.
There’s a certain vulnerability in Pledger's voice, a feeling redolent of a man having experienced some serious highs and lows, again from looking inwards and outwards. He retains the fearlessness of someone unafraid to tell it how it is but equally finds some of the revelations almost too hard to bear. Songs like ‘Lefty, Wait Your Turn!’ tell powerful tales and show how deep feelings run in Pledger’s world, as does the intensity of ‘Me and The Silence’.
If his debut album ‘Good Intentions’ was the proverbial ‘foot in the water’ and the follow up ‘Striking Matches in the Wind’ proving the promise, then ‘Somewhere Between’ is definitely ‘promise fulfilled’.
Review: Tim Carroll