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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Rock/Pop

FORBERT,STEVE

COMPROMISED

Forbert Steve Compromised
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The songwriter’s songwriter is one who adheres to an unwavering standard of excellence. His work is honed, sculpted, shaped, and then reshaped until it feels right to share with the world. These are just a few of the guiding principles Steve Forbert followed while composing the 11 original songs on his new album, Compromised. (Stripped-down Americana versions of three of its songs appear as bonus tracks, and there’s also a gravelly, folkified cover of “Send in the Clowns.”). It’s not a ‘modern’ record — it has an aggressive, roots rock and folk rock styling that’s not a lot different from [1991’s] The American in Me in its instrumentation.” Recorded in various locales including Woodstock and Cape Cod over a period of eight months and produced by Forbert along with John Simon (who helmed Forbert’s breakthrough sophomore album, 1979’s Jackrabbit Slim), Steve Greenwell, Jon Evans, Anthony Crawford, and Marc Muller, Compromised is anything but what its title suggests. From the rambling piano and horn-driven swing of “Big Comeuppance” to the seductive twang of “Devil (Here She Comes Now)” to the Altamont romanticizing of “Welcome the Rolling Stones,” Forbert has followed his muse to the hilt. Many Compromised songs share a common thread of resigned acceptance, born from Forbert’s keen observations on the nuances associated with the actual art of the compromise. Compromised collaborators include longtime Forbert associates bassist Joey Spampinato (NRBQ), drummer Lou Cataldo (The Freeze), and keyboardist Robbie Kondor, the latter of whom played on Forbert’s kinetic 1978 debut, Alive on Arrival. In today’s overload-of-information age, Forbert recognizes the value of having a “calling card” song in his arsenal — “Romeo’s Tune,” his indelible pop hit that reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. “That turned out ok — that song has good serendipity,” he says. “Did I become somewhat of a household word, with household recognition? No. But you write the songs, and the songs have to be recorded. And there aren’t really any hit songs until you make the right recording of them. As long as you have the inspiration, you keep doing it.” And you keep doing so — without compromise.

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