Culture seems to fluctuate between cynicism and optimism, like an alternating current of hope and despair. At certain times positive, uplifting music will be pretty much laughed out of the room, while at others, everyone's totally down to hold hands, OM, and sing along with "We Are The World" and "We Shall Overcome.”
Given the depths of the darkness we've been experiencing globally in 2016, positivity is in. We're more open to activist creeds and optimistic manifestoes. We get enough darkness when we turn on the news. It's a great time for Steve Cutmore's Everything Is Free to go out into the world.
Steve Cutmore is a longtime London musician, most recently working with a band called Trash Green. Everything Is Free is his solo collection of glammy psychedelic piano pop ballads. It's refreshingly optimistic and open-hearted, as one the opening double-header of "Magnificent World" and "Some Day Coming.” Cutmore sings of the spirit, like some wide-eyed evangelist, over a tasteful pallet of complex piano chords and glammy, garage-like guitars. It's like Marc Bolan getting together with Elton John for a charity concert. In a good way.
Cutmore's musicianship is evident in every stitch of Everything Is Free - from the interesting arrangements, like the slightly brooding bridge of "Somewhere Else,” sounding perhaps like some Animals-era Pink Floyd by way of A Perfect Circle.
Everything Is Free would benefit from more moments like these, as Cutmore's brightness can get a bit brash after a while. His positivity is contagious, but his lyrics can get a bit ham-fisted, like the sweet-but-kind-of-silly "Want It To Last.”
Cutmore's incredibly talented and he's got a great spirit and worldview. Next time out, I'd like to hear a bit more metaphor and a little more shadows, to balance out the light. For now, however, Everything Is Free is the piano pop record that we all need.
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