Author: Peter D'Angelo
05/07/2002 | Basement-life.com | www.basement-life.com | Album Review
Experience pays off, and Ted Stevens has had plenty of it. Starting off as the voice of Lullaby For The Working Class, moving on to Cursive, and putting in time on the road with Bright Eyes and The Good Life, the singer and songwriter has honed his skills and made many a talented friend, both of which come into focus on his newest disc. As Mayday, Stevens and a truly talented bunch of accomplices tackle nine compositions that have been brewing for the past few years, and with untouchably full arrangements they create a record that is easy to fall in love with. Stevens' vocals are full of melancholy sentiments and a touch of Morrissey styled inflections, and his storytelling lyrics rise above the complex music underneath. LFTWC compatriots Tiffany Kowalski and Mike and A.J. Mogis lend their support to the record along with vocal contributions by Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and the ladies of Azure Ray, but it is Stevens' affair and without hogging the spotlight he still steals the show. The melodically ingenious "Captain," is one of the more astounding tracks in recent memory, and with a wide array of instrumentation from banjos to organs to pure rock sounds, every moment of the disc is heightened by vibrant sounds. A few hidden tracks at the beginning of the record are also extremely worthwhile, but even without them this is an advisable disc for anyone who has enjoyed any of Stevens' past projects.