LANE STEINBERG Passion & Faith (Transparency)

If you like your music completely unique and bashfully eclectic in every possible way, then this album is right up your alley. An alley that echoes the beats and rhythms of old school jazz, Brazilian bossa nova, flights of calypso, the Grateful Dead and the Beatles. It’s almost like picking out the broken pieces of the shattered identity of someone with multiple personalities. Venturing into the variety that this album offers definitely requires an open mind.

This is Steinberg’s third solo effort having had stints as part of the equally eclectic duo Tan Sleeve. Passion & Faith comprises of 13 tracks, each burrowing into the ambience of the specific style being served with relish. Seven of which are Steinberg’s take on ethnic and rock classics that inspired him.

It begins with the first track, a cover of A Pagina Do Relampago Electrico by Beto Guedes, sung in its original language and nicely complemented by the jangly guitar riffs reminiscent of George Harrison’s licks. This is followed by the very interesting and original What Do I Do With The Rest Of My Life – co-written with R. Stevie Moore. It starts off once again with a comfortable and familiar Beatles-esque chord repetition and a catchy hook with the guys melodiously singing, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus…”. Don’t be surprised to hear a baby’s gurgling laughter mid-way through the track and just when you think it’s done, it starts again.

The next track is titled Clube Da Esquina after the legendary album by a selection of Brazilian musicians of the same name. Steinberg claims to have been floored by the album without understanding any of its lyrics and he pays tribute to it with this track sung in its native Portuguese. The rest of the tracks are truly an ecelectic (have I used the word enough?) mix of calypso with Two Bananas, country/blue grass with Equatorial (sung again in it’s native language), psychedelic rock with How Insensitive originally a Brazilian song but covered by Sinatra in English and it’s this version that Steinberg chose to do.

The title track Paixao E Fe (which translates to Passion & Faith) originally a Brazilian number as well and sung in Portuguese once again, in the likes of the Fab Four with psychedelic movements, complete with Harpsichords and harmonies.

Worthy of special mention is the very accurate take on Grateful Dead’s Dark Star, down to the vocals, the guitar work and the atmospheric echoes of the organ. This track just barely hits the 21 minute mark and it is quite the trip. Steinberg is a self confessed Deadhead.

An encouraging effort by Steinberg and definitely not for the masses but it does tatefully satisfy and calm the growing few who have embraced the wide and unconventional direction that music is heading towards. To quote Steinberg on his thoughts about the album, “I suppose most people’s eyes will simply glaze over at the eclecticism contained within this new CD. I can’t blame them, really. I have long made a career out of shooting myself in the foot, so why make things easier now?”. Enough said.

Check out Lane Steinberg’s Myspace page.

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