Paul Steel: Moon Rock

~ Saturday, 25 July 2009
Paul Steel arrives with heavy credentials. Hailed as the next Brian Wilson with a thumbs up from Beach Boys collaborators Van Dyke Parks and Stephen Kalinich. If that’s not cool enough, Sean Lennon also pops in for tea delivering a lovely parcel of compliments. It’s a bit unfair and too early in his career to expect this Brighton based singer songwriter to release Pet Sounds just yet.

On Moon Rock he makes a great attempt at proving, as well as a great ear for lush harmony and quirky pop tunes, he has a great touch as a producer. On Rust and Dust I hear echoes of Jellyfish and vocally on Crossed the Line a definite touch of Colin Blunstone of The Zombies circa Odyssey and Oracle. The opener, In a Coma is catchy and sticks with you, getting strange looks when you sing it walking to the shops for milk.

It’s clear to see when others faltered, why EMI Japan picked up the tab with Steel. He’s definitely not Brian Wilson yet, but shows positive signs of developing. If he spends more time on structure and song-writing instead of blinding us with an obvious talent for trickery in the studio, he could be on his way to writing a classic. Having said that, the string arrangement and vocal dexterity shown on The Way You Are beggars belief for someone aged 22.

If it’s bags full of West Coast inspired harmony and summer sunshine pop you desire and want in early on the career of a new star ready to explode buy Moon Rock now. But be careful, this album’s infectious and may have you locked up for singing too loudly in the library.

[][][][] (4/5) - Review by Charlie Brown

Listen to Paul Steel: The Way You Are