Streets Of This Town: Revisited
Blue Rose Music
Steve Forbert has been making records for a very long time, and in the 1970s, he shifted from his folk roots and incorporated more of a pop sound. He was once given the label ‘The New Dylan”, which is both complimentary and impossible to live up to. His shift into more pop music resulted in a song, “Romeo’s Tune” just missing the top ten in the US, although it was a top ten hit in Canada. But his love was always in folk, and he gradually wanted to bring more of it into his music, with hopes his fanbase would follow. However, this decision was not greeted enthusiastically by CBS, the parent company to the label to which he was signed. 1988’s Streets Of This Town became his first release after leaving CBS and it was much more folk-pop and met with a great deal of critical success, but not in sales, and it soon disappeared off the record shelves.
After an absence of 28 years, Streets Of This Town is back in a remastered and remixed format. The vinyl is a straight re-release with no extra tracks, but the CD does feature one previously unreleased song, “They’re Out To Break Us”. The album was produced by Gary Talent, of E Street Band fame. While the album has a bit of a country tinge, it is not the folk album that one would have thought he would have recorded, but it is a great album full of incredible songs.
The opening track, for example, “Running On Love” is country rock and sounds great. But by 1988, Forbert’s vocals were more mature and had a very strong presence. He writes strong melodies with very seemingly very personal lyrics on this album. This is followed by the wonderful “Perfect Stranger”. Again, strong melody is the key with soulful lyrics. In some ways, at moments, it is like a Lloyd Cole song, but in Forbert’s hands it adds a great deal of his own personality to the lyrics and melody.
Listening to this album in 2023, it is truly difficult to understand why it did not do well when it was released. It is full of great hooks and Forbert has a very lovely presence. It is an album that is very warm and inviting. The new mix gives it a great sound and its return is certainly welcomed. Fans will be happy to have the opportunity to hear this great lost album.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: STEVE FORBERT – STREETS OF THIS TOWN: REVISITED