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  • Writer's pictureCurious Cat

Steve Noonan New Album 'Dreamland' Out January 29th, 2022

Steve Noonan’s website bio prominently features information about how

the singer/songwriter was once a recording engineer for Prince. However,

don’t expect Noonan to ‘bring the funk’ with his full-length Dreamland.

Instead, these thirteen tracks are comprised of bright, melodic soft

rock. Prince could also be pretty weird, and nothing at all among these

selections can be described as strange.

Noonan sings with a clear, sincere vocal style. The album’s title track,

for instance, incorporates acoustic piano and guitar, with Noonan

vocalizing its verses in a relatively low register. Like many of the

tracks on this release, Noonan is a little vague about his songs’

subject matter. “It’s All Gone Wrong” obviously speaks about a bad set

of circumstances, but just what that wrong direction is, however, is

nearly impossible to decipher. It’s left open as to who is being wronged

and why.

VIDEO Teaser for Dreamland:

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Leaving interpretation open can be a positive attribute because if a

song’s meaning is too specific, it’s nearly impossible for anyone else

(outside of the artist) to relate to it. With that said, though, if the

subject matter is too open ended, this makes it more difficult for the

listener to care about song subjects. With Dreamland, one is left

thinking these songs could be about nearly anything and anyone.

One called "My Words Will Reach You” seemingly speaks to the

difficulties involved in communication. It’s as though this guy has

really important things to say to another but wonders aloud if these

messages will ever reach the intended recipient. It’s a tough but common

modern problem. We live in an age where there are seemingly infinite

ways for humans to communicate with each other. There are so many

different electronic devices to make human connections that you’d think

communication problems would go away forever, like a cured disease. And

yet, here’s Noonan contemplating the possibility of not making his

feelings and thoughts known to another person.

One of the album’s gentlest songs is “When You Know,” which is all about

personal revelation. There are instances in life where you can only know

something by experiencing it. ‘When will I know?’ someone might ask.

‘Well, you’ll know when you know’ is the only possible and accurate

response. Noonan sings this one like someone who is personally involved

in this human discovery. “One More Second Chance” also speaks to human

behavior. It’s astounding how many chances we humans get to make things

right, after failing many times. Many people are known to say, ‘You only

get one chance,’ when we all know that’s not always true. At the same

time, though, we may never know when our ‘one more second chance’ is our

last. This track includes a rock electric guitar solo. Guitar solos,

like this one, are relatively rare on this mostly acoustic,

soft-sounding song collection.


Mood-wise, Dreamland is a consistently positive and upbeat album. One

doesn’t hear any anger or severe mood swings expressed on this release.

When it comes to writing songs, Steve Noonan sounds like he must usually

be in a good mood when creating his tunes. Although he’s a bit of a

throwback to the singer/songwriter era in pop music, this was also a

warm and memorable time, and a musical place well worth visiting with

this album.

- Dan MacIntosh


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