Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Album Review: Steve Forbert, "Over With You"

Music veteran Steve Forbert returns to the spotlight this week with his newest release, Over With You, released September 11 on Blue Corn Music.  This release is the fourteenth album in Mr. Forbert's storied career and one that, by his own admission, clearly took a lifetime to create.

When listening to this album, Over With You takes on the shape of a venerable scrapbook on the post-life cycle of a relationship.  More specifically, it focuses on the aftermath of the end of that relationship and the emotions that are often felt when two people have decided (or had it decided for them) that the relationship is no longer working.  What Mr. Forbert has created here, is a document on the grief process that follows.  Indeed, it feels like the seven stages of grieving are captured lyrically, with an A-list of musicians supporting each story in the 10 song collection.

The lead track, "All I Asked of You" captures the shock and emotions that run wild through ones mind at the outset of a break up.  Elements of anger set in on "All I Need To Do", while
potential reconcilliation (read: goodbye sex) rears its head in "That'd Be Alright" and "Can't We Get Together?"  Acceptance is ultimately realized in the beautiful title track, "Over With You", as the storyteller conveys the sadness and longing for something that they wanted so desperately to work out but ultimately concedes that ending the relationship is for the best.  Sometimes doing the right thing isn't easy, and that fact is captured beautifully in "Over With You."

While using such musicians as Ben Sollee, Jason Yates and a special appearance by Ben Harper on "That'd Be Alright", the production on this album is quite understated.  This minimalist approach is very appropriate given the subject matter of the album.  In Over With You, Steve Forbert has created the perfect Americana album.  It tells a story of heartache, acceptance and moving forward.  While this album may have taken Mr. Forbert a lifetime to write, I would also submit that in order to fully appreciate this album one must have lived through this experience as well.  This is a brilliant album that should listen to several times in order to experience its full effect.

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