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
VIDEO Teaser for Dreamland:
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.
Official Website: https://www.stevenoonansongs.com
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
- Dan MacIntosh