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Steinmanesque

Posted by:
fnord 09:37 pm MST 04/06/13

So here's a topic that comes up once in a while: artists or songs who have a style similar to Jim's. Meat Loaf is the obvious answer, though his non-Jim work is either very different than his Jim-related output; or its an overproduced imitation-- more a pastiche than an homage. I think I've gone off on this before.

The only classic artist I can think of that consistently had a sound remotely similar to Jim's was Alice Cooper during his Wagner-collaboration period. No surprise there. Meat's collaborations with Dick Wagner have been some of his best non-Jim work.

I don't find it offensive when people compare Queen to Jim's work, since I love Queen, and I can hear putting them both into the theatrical/bombastic category. However, I've never thought they particularly sounded similar.

I do find it offensive when people say Boston sounds like Jim. Nothing against Boston, but that's like comparing a frozen chicken nugget to a nine-course feast with topless waitresses.

I heard a couple of songs recently-- new songs-- that actually seemed to me to have a hint of Steinmania in them. I doubt Jim had any involvement in either of them, and I doubt the performers or producers were trying to mimic Jim in any way. However, these two tunes both caught my attention.

First was "Next To Me" by Emeli Sande'. Despite the fact that it's a thinly-veiled love song to Jesus, it's a catchy tune and she has a good voice. I think what reminds me of Jim in this one is the similarity of the beat to "Original Sin," plus the frequent builds and drops. It's soulful, which I think also brings to mind "The Future Ain't What It Used To Be."

Then I heard "Give Me A Reason" by P!nk, with that guy from Fun. Being piano-based gives it a Jimness, but once it builds up, it stays at a constant crescendo, which is Jim all over. The rhyme-scheme and the unusual flow of the lines is very theatrical, which reminds me of Jim's theater work. It wouldn't be mistaken for a Jim song (to someone who knows, anyway), but it sounds Jim-influenced.

I may have mentioned before, some six months ago when the record came out, that Love And Money's new album, "The Devil's Debt" has a Steinman feel at points too. This is particularly notable in the title track, especially when the bridge in the middle goes all bombastic. It's amazing. It's Love And Money's best album, and it only took 20 years to record. (That's Jim-like too.)

What do you think?


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