Sunday, October 18, 2009

Steven Mark - One Small Room

Armed with an acoustic folk rock style and an exceptional voice, Steven Mark is a talented artist that has somehow stayed below the radar for too long. He recently released his fourth studio album, One Small Room. So, is One Small Room the disc to send him above ground and into the mainstream? Is One Small Room worth ordering on ITunes? Let’s spin the disc and find out!

One Small Room opens with the beautiful Your Truest Harmony. Steven Mark’s signature folk rock style is all over this opening track. Blending his harmonic voice with exceptional acoustic guitar playing, Your Truest Harmony is an incredible opener and a great introduction to this disc.

Be On My Side is a powerful and emotional tale of a mother and son’s journey through life. Reminiscent of the great Cats In The Cradle by Harry Chapin, this song has a similar theme of parents and children and not having enough time to spend together. This is a gripping song with an important message. Sons will be calling their mothers after listening to this track a couple of times.

Mystic Air is the strongest song on One Small Room. It opens with a hauntingly poetic piano and bass line that leads into Steven Mark’s vocals, which have a slight David Cassidy twinge to them for this song. The opening then leads into a catchy chorus that hooks the listener for the remainder of the track. A flute solo is also included which only helps to push this song over the top.

Behold is another notable track that includes a beautiful violin intro that blends into Steven Mark’s higher key voice. His vocals are tender and inviting and Behold is one of the tracks that really showcase Mark’s vocal ability and his powerful lyrics.

Saved From Yourself fights hard with Mystic Air for the title of best song on the album. This beautiful composition finds Steven Mark singing at his best in a slightly higher octave that works perfectly with the slightly faster pace of the song. Saved From Yourself blends elements of jazz, folk, and classical to create an amazing song that is a guaranteed sing along by the third listen.

An incredible remake of Supertramp’s The Logical Song is included on this disc. Steven Mark strips the song to the bare essentials, slows the pace, and focuses on the lyrics, which are delivered in expert fashion with Steven’s amazing voice. This is an incredible remake and the way Steven Mark molds this song into his own by slightly slowing the pace and arranging the song in his own vision is awesome. He did an excellent job with this cover.

One Small Room is a great album for fans of acoustic/folk rock. In the vein of Dion Roy or Son Volt, Steven Mark focuses on melodies and guitar to create beautiful music. There are some violins and flutes that help to enhance the sounds, but the centerpiece is always Mark’s vocals and great singing ability. While One Small Room isn’t an album you would put on to run the treadmill, it is definitely a disc you could play after the treadmill run was over. A mellow, soothing album, One Small Room is an incredible work of art that relaxes the soul and allows the listener to take a timeout to enjoy life.

One Small Room is a highly recommended gem. It is available on ITunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.

Ryo’s Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Track Listing
Your Truest Harmony
Be On My Side
Mystic Air
Once You Loved
Our Time To Shine
The Logical Song
Driving Nowhere
Saved From Yourself
Another Tale

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