Thank You for Saturday
In my reviews of L.A.'s Black Watch, I've often wondered what John Andrew Fredrick and Co. Had to do to get noticed after more than two-decades of quality thinking-man's indie pop records. The same could be said about singer/songwriter David Steinhart. Perhaps even more so, since Steinhart has such a lovely, trilling voice, whereas Fredrick's is more of the Dylan-to-Reed-to Go-Betweens dry-roasted type; albeit both are equal romantic-literate heartbreakers. For 24 years, whether with his two brothers in the underrated R.E.M./dBs-sweet arly 80's L.A. band Pop Art, or for nearly two decades since with Smart Brown Handbag, Steinhart's been a perennial cottage industry goldmine for those who carry torches for soft, finely crafted, windswept pop, like the Flying Nun obsessives gobbled on import from New Zealand in years past. And this is Steinhart's 17th-correct, 17th album. Perhaps it's his first as "The Furious Seaasons," and his bassplaying brother Jeff is back riding posse. But we/methinks it will take more than a name change (maybe Steinhart needs to pop out of a giant Jell-O cake on YouTube?) to draw the eyeballs and canals that his careful, bittersweet, golden-hued lovelies full of solicitously resigned breakup intropsection merit. This time he's even more acoustic, lightly-ringing, and quietly, unabashedly moving, in an exquisitely gentle flow that resembles the light-pop classics The Mutton Birds and their singer Don McGlashan, another New Zealander, have given us for as long. ("Back to This Side" and "Suitable Love" could even pass for McGlashan songs!) Best of all, all 13 songs are of a similar type but sit just right, like gorgeous weather that lasts from dawn to dusk, improving everyone's mood over the duration. Don't miss "So Long Great City" and "A Big Chunck of Change" for the closest things to up-tempo flavors akin to his pedigree; but really feel free to hit "shuffle'" because every song is as lithely graceful as the next.