Steven Pile,
(self-produced, 2002)

Consistency is a wonderful thing, especially in an album. Isn't it great to just put in a CD, push play and simply enjoy it? It gets so annoying to lean over now and then to skip over a horrible "filler" song. Well, with Overnight by Steven Pile, you won't get carpal tonal syndrome in your index finger -- just let that album play.

Overnight is a really good album, especially for a debut. The music is consistent and understated, providing an even amount of pleasure for the ears. Pile has a vocal style reminiscent of a quiet Jimmy Buffet mixed with the late country crooner Roger Miller (arguably best known as the rooster Alan-A-Dale in Disney's animated Robin Hood). For those that pay attention to the lyrics, they are approachable yet not predictable. In some cases, he goes for the road not taken.

"Icarus" is a great example of his crooning vocal style mixed with his unique perspective for writing lyrics. Instead of going the obvious route -- talking about Icarus flying too close to the sun -- he salutes Icarus for going as far as he could, as many of us never even try. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful: "Though I raise a toast to time well spent, writing letters I never sent, writing words to songs I never sang. I'll say a prayer that don't make sense to innocence and angels with broken wings."

The most heartwarming song on the album is an unlisted bonus track, whose chorus is "God, How I Love This Place." It's an acoustic sing-along with family and friends about the simple pleasures of life. (Steven, everybody likes Easter Eggs, but you should at least have listed it on the jacket as a bonus track!)

While Pile is consistent with each track, don't interpret "consistent" as monotony. He does provide a variety of styles. There's a bit of blues in "Nobody's Fault But Mine," a particle of pop country in "Green Eyes" and a fraction of folk in "The Simple Truth," but they all blend in with the entire album.

Good music, good lyrics, a good voice. This all equals a good album. So, don't worry about the skip button when you get Overnight.

- Rambles
written by C. Nathan Coyle
published 1 November 2003

[ visit the artist's website ]