You could do a lot worse than Steve Carlson’s new album, Groovin On The Inside, but then again you could do a whole lot better. If neo blue-eyed soul is your thing, you’re going to want to run to your local record store and check out Marc Broussard. It’s OK, I’ll wait…. In the meantime, if you can settle for a collection of mildly pleasant, but at times forced white-boy soul, Steve might be your man.
That’s not to say that this is a bad album by any stretch of the imagination. The difficulty with a record like this is you can tell there are great songs lurking underneath the glossy production values — but overdubbed strings, backing vocals, drum loops, horns and operatic vocals (yes, opera) take away from what could have otherwise been an honest singer-songwriter release. Steve is clearly a talented writer and singer, but this album would be a totally different (better) experience with a stripped down band, a little less production and perhaps a bit more rawness.
By Ben Ricci