Endlessly by Steve Stratton. Empire Media Group, 2014.
Review by Cory Widmayer
In a world dominated by commercial pop and synthesized sound, one finds comfort in discovering musicians still dedicated to the skilled instrumentation and lyrical complexity of more pre-modernized music. This album revisits some of the more old-fashioned ideals of life and happiness in the individualistic society we now live.
The focus often concerns the struggles of finding love and happiness in life. Though these ideas are nothing new as subjects for song-writing, this collection nonetheless provides a fresh perspective on what has proven to be a successful focus in the music industry. The style of singing has a down-to-earth personality, providing a fresh and inviting interface for the listener to form connections.
Tapping into the warm yet upbeat qualities of folk-rock, Steve Stratton’s Endlessly is a welcome addition to those looking for both relaxation and sophistication in their music. The feelings expressed during the listening experience are often balanced between remorse and anticipation, though the intensity is mild and in no way overpowering or overwhelming. It is rather an invitation for listeners to reminisce in similar situations concerning failed or lost relationships, or to encourage the pursuit of happiness regardless of shortcomings.
Acoustic guitar chord progression and the mellow vocals of Steve Stratton tend to dominate the compositions, where his personality seeks to mellow the listener and remind them of the need for having healthy connections in life as well as a strong purpose: A great representation of Midwestern-style music.
Cory Widmayer is a graduating senior with strong interests in folk and rock music and a passion for finger-style guitar.