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Jett Superior laid this on you on || September 4, 2003 || 11:28 am

My oh myyyyyy: Steve Burns made a gorgeous, positively luminescent first album.

Okay, okay, let’s get past the fact that he was the ‘Blue’s Clues’ guy for six years, shall we? Steve has plenty of fun poking his history with the stick of humor (“The show was a smash hit, sucessful among the preschool set, their moms, the occasional stoned college student and Swedish au pairs.”), but he’s been fiddling with sound since he was roughly the age of the average Cluephyte and it shows.

Steve’s lyrics are thoughtful (‘i’m just a boring example of everybody else / i threw out the old one as soon as i found something else / i’ll never tell you what i do on saturday‘) and playful (‘we can roll around on my floor / that’s what it’s for‘) in turns without becoming insipid and the musicianship is a solid melange of rich, textured sound that never gets weighted down with a heavy-handed touch (as is sometimes the case with music this full). The one weak track that will merit a ’skip’ from me often in the future is ‘Maintain’ because it seems to lack the personality that the other tracks have; the lyrics and vocals both sound forced and merely plod along. However, eleven out of twelve better-than-just-good songs is an excellent sweep, especially in light of the plethora of cookie-cutter badbadbad music on the market nowadays.

Production and engineering assistance in the form of The Flaming Lips‘ Steven Drozd and Michaeal Ivins, respectively (You can hear their touch quite vividly on ‘A Snivelling Mess’, what I count as one of the best tracks on the album) may have given this album a leg up, but Burns’ vocals and lyrics never diminish in the face of the music’s thick-and-yummy quality; they hold their own even on stripped-down tracks like ‘A Reason’ and ‘Stick Around’.

‘Superstrings’ gets my nod as Very Favorite, while the buoyant ‘Mighty Little Man’ (no doubt destined to be the first single) and crunchy-bouncy ‘A Snivelling Mess’ both trail close on its heels. ‘Trophosphere’, with its sweet imagery, is destined to become a late night tequila-and-tap-tapping-on-my-keyboard staple.

You need an album of sweet songs about love and science, so run (or click) right on over to buy “Songs For Dustmites”. Me? I’m purchasing several* to give as gifts, which is the highest form of praise that I can bestow on an album and its creator.

*See, musicians, SEE? See what happens when you make a full album available for the music-lovin’ masses to listen to? Sit up and take note.

8 worked it out »

  1. Kingolf 9.4.2003

    You’re getting behind, my Superior muffinistress.

    Burn’s ceedee is like, totally soo last month.

    IMnotveryfuckingHO, the album is too poppy and poppy is only a | away from poopy.

    That’s a question of taste, so alright: You may enjoy it and still retain bloggish Goddessness.

    Mighty Little Man’s actually one of the few, oh-so-rare things that can make me type “Good pop.”

    What I Do On Saturday is an example of that ’special’ thing about (most) pop: It takes a week or so to get tired of.

  2. Jett 9.4.2003

    …being no large fan of ‘nowadays’ pop m’self, I can see from whence you meander.

    BUT, I hold to my opinion that this album is good stuff, and will continue to get a play from me moons down the road.

    Once the MTV folks glom onto it and really start pushing ‘Mighty Little Man’ into heavy rotation, I will cry, because I will probably abandon it for a bit before returning faithfully.

    So yeah, I can see where you’re coming from, Kingolf, but you still get the mighty Jett buzzer on this one.

  3. Kingolf 9.4.2003

    Listen to What I Do On Saturday for a couple ‘a days. You’ll see.

    I think the songs sound very much the same.

    Maintain is What I Do On Saturday without that glad feeling. Henry Krinkles Lament, Troposphere and Bigger Than One has the same sound. A Song For Dustmites has been heard a thousand times before. The lyrics are new – okay – but it’s a song and not a book.

    Maybe I’m just overreacting because I hate the genre.

    Steve Burns seems like good guy (Woo for people who have the enormous patience it takes to like kids. Yay for people who understands kids. Halle-fucking-lujah to people who think of kids as equals) and Mighty Little Man is on my top 50, but there’s nothing that could make me like that album. 10 of the songs will never be heard and frankly, I don’t think they deserve to.

  4. Jett 9.4.2003

    There you have it, folks! Two sides of the same coin.

    Guess you’ll have to do something like make up your own mind, WOO!


  5. The Llama 9.4.2003


  6. Jett 9.4.2003

    Everybody, that is, except for YOU, Llama. You must bend to my will at all possible turns. Haven’t we been over this?

  7. for a second there I thought you said ‘melange’.

  8. liz(ard) 9.5.2003

    he’s really hot too. but i’ve thought that for years. because my son. would be. you know, watching. that’s all, really.


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