May 30 2017 TMRZoo published our first review of the fine music from Steve Dennis including the titles “Reboot,” “Dubhe,” “Your Garden,” “The King,” and “Any Time Now” …while noting that “the tunes innocently show themselves to be complete in this simple setting.”
Fast forward to this December 2018 release, the self-titled Steve Dennis 5 song extended play offering more production polish on the exquisite “Quicksand,” light, simple and very radio friendly. It will catch your attention immediately – “Baby, I don’t know, where it went wrong…your emotions never show, maybe it’s been too long” almost a psychological self-study. Doesn’t matter that at 4:45 it pushes the airplay envelope, it is an attractive melody with grooving instrumentation that calls for repeated spins.
“Real Love” has the same folksy charm that made the 2017 songs so moving and heartfelt. Guitar and harmonica blend to give an overall feeling of hope tucked inside this blues/pop ballad that floats down a river as introspection falls into place.
“As Much as I Loved You” will tug at your heart – it did to this writer – especially if the love affair you have is in some sort of conflict, short and sweet and effective, a powerful quick statement on the state of emotion.
“Try Me On” has a dance beat and dominant guitar work and is a stark change of pace from what we’ve heard from Steve before. The artist knows how to pitch a catchy chorus with dangling musical sounds embellishing the story.
“The Swell” seems drawn from the musician’s time in Hawaii, a bit of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground’s “Ocean,” in the minute plus opening. I thought it would be an instrumental but the voice of Steve Dennis sings at 1:08 in over the simple strum and slow-motion splashing of the cymbal, a nice vibration that closes out in a most hypnotic way. Along with being very musical the five songs elegantly capture feeling and heart in a beautiful and compelling way.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.