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Overland – ‘Contagious’

posted 5 Feb 2017, 13:57 by Paul Woodward

(Escape Music)

Review By Woody

Contagious is the fourth solo album from British vocal legend Steve Overland. There are certain bands and musicians in the AOR/Melodic Rock scene that I hate saying anything negative about, many will agree with me in stating Steve O is probably The voice of British AOR. So, saying anything remotely bad about anything he’s involved in is like insulting a close friend and been left with the feeling you need to apologise, but the long and short of it is this album is not very good at all.

It all falters on the songs they just aren’t up to scratch, compared to the first two Overland albums this is a real stinker. Overland’s vocals are amazing throughout albeit it a little disconnected at times, but these songs fail to showcase him at his best. Producer Lars Chriss does a fantastic polish on the production, you couldn’t ask for more in the mix or mastering. The songs leave no lasting impression and it makes me wonder if they were songs from Steve’s cutting room floor or unwanted songs from guitarist and co-writer Tommy Denander’s extensive song writing vault. There’s no bad performances as such just bad unremarkable songs.

Overland’s voice has a blues touch to it so pushing the direction of these songs into blues and old school R’N’B makes perfect sense and should create a great album in theory. It just doesn’t work for me, if you want to hear Overland doing something a little blusier check out the rather awesome Shadowman which is far superior.

It’s the tracks that stick to more of a traditional melodic rock sound that make the biggest impression on me, especially ‘Easy on Me’ with its strong chorus, but the other two ‘Back Where I Belong’ and ‘Unforgiving World’ are just substandard and easily forgotten. If you’re curious about the R’N’B touch check out ‘Pocketful Of Dreams’ and ‘Wildest Dreams. The album opener ‘Doctor My Heart’ is pure Blues, so if that’s your thing the album will start well for you!

Nothing on this album resonates with me and as hard as I try I just can’t connect to it! Die hard Overland fans may be more complimentary than myself and hopefully enjoy it more (if they are not just blowing smoke up Steve O’s ass!). In general terms though I think most melodic rockers will be disappointed with Contagious and this CD will gather dust on my shelf quite quickly. Overland’s better than this and I’m sure the next time I hear his voice I’m going to be rocking like a bastard!

Track Listing: Doctor My Heart / Easy On Me / Edge Of The Universe / Every Lonely Night / Wildest Dreams / Intoxicated / Define Our Love / Pocketful of Dreams / Making Miracles / Back Where I Belong / Unforgiving World / Shame On You

Album Rating: 3/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Easy on Me