CD Reviews

Overland - 'Diamond Dealer' Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 17, 2010    
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Solo album from the FM and Shadownman vocalist.



Last year’s ‘Break Away’ album had Steve Overland fans split down the middle with its different approach and off-centre musical stance, pretty much in the same argumentative manner as his ‘SO’ album did many years previously. There were some who found the new direction a bitter pill to swallow whilst there were some of us, myself included, who adored the boldness of the album and could only marvel at his impressive vocal performance as it soared to new heights.

Well this time round there is absolutely no question in my mind that the latest album ‘Diamond Dealer’ will bring all the doubters back in to line and all will agree that the compositions contained on this opus are more on a par with what fans would expect from an album bearing the fruits of Steve’s unquestionable talents. I promise you, there will be few, if any, left feeling disappointed.

One of the keys to Steve’s popularity in the scene has always been his unique and magical vocal range and yet again Steve is on the ball on the albums opening track ‘Train Train’. Whilst not my favourite song on the album it has a clean and crisp guitar sound with a slightly heavier stance than than the rest of the material on the album. Those looking for those all important FM-ism’s will no doubt prick your ears up the following track ‘You Lift Me Up’. Like an ‘Aphrodisiac’ out-take it has all the identifiable trade marks: lush keyboards, layered harmonies, catchy chorus and groovy tempo that will have you tapping your foot endlessly. There is a more laid back attitude and a genuine warmth that comes flowing out of ‘Brave New World’ which shows a great deal of maturity to a point where it is almost flawless in its construction. Elsewhere you will find equally delightful songs, such as ‘City Of Dreams’, ‘I’m Still Breathing’, ‘Hearts Don’t Lie’ and especially the brilliant ‘After The Storm’ that oozes quality and melodic excellence.

Rocking things up slightly is ‘Bring Me Water’, reminding me very much of ‘Does It Feel Like Love’ from FM’s ‘Tough It Out’ album, and those of us who can recall that song remember it as an all time gut busting, thumping melody of a tune. Bringing the curtain down on this fine collection of songs is ‘Coming Home’, again using all the harmonies and multi-layered vocals that has become synonymous with Steve Overland over the years. This polished laid back melody is a wondrous soft rock anthem that ultimately does justice to my favourite album of the year to date.

Also definitely worth bringing to your attention is the excellent ensemble of musicians that Steve has conspired with on this album. firstly Tor Talle, guitar and keyboard player and song co-writer to boot, also Martin Kronlund who features on rhythm guitar as well as producing this project and Henrik Thomsen and Imre Daun, bass and drums respectively. Fine musicians, great singer and great songs making this a must have purchase.

Graham Hatton



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