Posted on September 22nd, 2014 (1:44 pm) by Angela Goldberg

The newest album from Steve Gunn, Way Out Weather is a cerebral journey that showcases the guitarists growth and strengths. Gunn comes out swinging with a songwriting style that is honed and completely his own, while maintaining the masterful guitar playing that he's been known for on past releases. His vocals and guitar playing shine through in a quiet, refined way, that creates a sleepiness and peaceful quality to the album.

The opening track of Way Out Weather is also the title track. It opens unassumingly before cascading into a lush and calming soundscape. Gunn’s vocals are set back, floating just below and barely surfacing between the soaring instrumentals. The combination of the music and Gunn’s voice is a time traveling device, evoking moments of Robert Plant on the Led Zeppelin tune, Tangerine. It's mystical, relaxing, and undeniably summery. The track sets a strolling tone that follows through the album.

The whole album is like a journey back to sixties rock and roll. A journey that is reminiscent enough, but not a complete recreation. “Milly’s Garden” sounds like it could be an Allman Brothers song, with hints of the Grateful Dead. The full affect of these sixties influences is reached with Gunn’s relaxing lyrics, specifically on “Shadow Bros,” which is a playful and relaxing waltz. The track “Drifter” picks up speed a little, complete with a rhythmic guitar break in the middle of the song. “Atmosphere” drops the speed right back down, sounding exactly like its title. It’s a meditative and cerebral track with delicate guitar and breathy vocals hovering just nearby. While each track has its merits, and the album works cohesively, there is a muddled quality and a use of repetition that gets sleepy along the way. It’s easy to get lost in these songs, especially with Gunn’s vocals often slightly muffled.

The closing tune, “Tommy’s Congo” is a break in tone from the rest of the album, it picks up speed and displays a heavy handedness that isn’t in the rest of the tracks here. Gunn’s vocals are also vastly different on the track, breaking through the instrumental more than on the other songs. There is a clarity and sharpness to the song that snaps its listener out of the reverie that much of the other songs create.

Steve Gunn’s, Way Out Weather is like climbing into a time machine and taking a much needed trip back to a different sound. It’s a breath of fresh air for today’s listeners that showcase Gunn’s guitar abilities, but also presents him as a solid songwriter.

Track List:

  1. “Way Out Weather”
  2. “Wildwood”
  3. “Milly’s Garden”
  4. “Shadow Bros”
  5. “Fiction”
  6. “Drifter”
  7. “Atmosphere”
  8. “Tommy’s Congo”
Steve Gunn - Way Out Weather
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

65 / 100
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