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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review: Steve Baskin - Naked

Steve Baskin - Naked
2009, Vanelle's Songs

Atlanta singer/songwriter Steve Baskin cut his teeth with bands such as Hugo A Gogo and The Hippycrickets as well as with Cindy Wilson (B52s). Along the way, Baskin has shared the stage with such greats as The Beach Boys, Percy Sledge, Don McLean, June Carter Cash, Edwin McCain and Mike Mills (REM). Baskin's sophomore solo effort, Naked, features nine original tunes and a cover of the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" that should gain him some attention from pop radio.

Naked opens with "Catch Me If You Can", a catchy rocker with a candy-coated chorus you won't soon get out of your head. "Please Don't Leave" plays in much the same vein, a classic rock roll love song with a chorus that sticks with you. "Naked" and "A Day In My Shoes" shows Baskin's weaker side, musically. Both verge on sounding whiny and a bit out of focus. Baskin recovers nicely with "Float On Down", an energetic country rocker that's quirky in style and features some excellent guitar work. "Something Smells Fishy" is likely to be a fan favorite, particularly live; an upbeat yet dark blues tune that will have you hitting repeat. "I Think I Love You" is pure bubblegum, and doesn't seem to change much no matter who covers it. It might just be the perfect pop song and is therefore very hard to make a mess out of. Baskin gets it right with a solid rendition. "Worse Comes To Worst" is a decent enough tune about runaways and how good girls can end up on the wrong side of the tracks. The tune sounds a bit preachy but is otherwise a solid listen. Naked closes with "Lie", a seeming afterthought may have been better left for a b-side.

Naked is an uneven experience; At his best Steve Baskin is a solid songwriter and highly entertaining. Baskin is very capable of descending into a whiny, over-emotive sound vocally, and when he does things just don't work out well. Generally, Naked stays on the plus side of Baskins' voice, and the album is generally a solid effort throughout. The songs offered here suggest to the listener that they may fare better in a live setting, but if you've never heard of Baskin before, Naked is a decent introduction.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Steve Baskin at or You can purchase Naked as either a CD or Download from or from

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