Listen Up: Wednesday, January 9, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Soulville

Soulville (self-released)

By Matthew Smith

Soulville. Just the name elicits expectations of hot buttered funk. And the first few loopy, loose-groove beats of the first track off this local band’s latest c.d. deliver just that. Then singer Steve Sagerson opens his mouth and things suddenly morph into Southern rock boogie à la the Marshall Tucker Band or Allman Brothers (post-Duane). From there on, Soulville delivers about as much soul as Pat Boone.

For a DIY release, Soulville is full of production handiwork that’s surprisingly crisp and clean. Instrumentally, the band plays competently enough to be graded very good, if not particularly interesting. Lyrically — “I’m waiting for your light to shine down on me” — the stuff here is strictly moon-in-June fluff with a sprinkling of substance-free Springsteen angst on top.

Generic rock tunes vie with power ballads custom fit to warm the hearts of Bon Jovi fans throughout the land. There’s even (yawn) yet another apparent 9/11 tribute song in “Last Time I Saw You.” And the guitar solos — so lugubrious and cliché that after the first one you’d swear the band must be having us on. The appearance of a dozen more such fatuous interludes, unfortunately, indicates otherwise. (You can just picture the guitarists grimacing and striking those too-cool-for-school rock star poses we all know and loathe.)

All of this, of course, is fine for those (and there are many) who take such things seriously. The real problem, though, is that the musicians approach their music-making like factory workers headed for the late shift; the band seems to be having fun on only a couple of tracks, and, no surprise, these tracks are also the best moments. For one example, “Melissa Street,” though no threat to “Penny Lane,” is a sweet missive to lost youth that works well enough to be likable.

Still, for all those who popped woodies when Rush and Boston released albums last year and for all you Staind and Coldplay fans, Soulville’s debut is cause for genuine excitement. For everyone else, it’s pleasant, harmless, and easy-to-ignore music at best.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions