Illinois Entertainer: Roadstar

It’s kind of fun hearing references to Chicago streets like Ashland and Kedzie on William Steffey’s ROADSTAR, especially when his lush techno songs mimic 1980s Brit bands like Prefab Sprout and Tears for Fears. Not fun enough, though, to hide the way most of his lyrics strain to be quirky. On the more rock-oriented “City Of Heroes” and the funky “Healing No. Four,” Steffey has a hard time singing the cumbersome words he penned. The best songs are the ambient title track, which uses a bare minimum of lyrics, and “World’s Tallest Building,” an energetic and truly fun instrumental. Steffey plays all the instruments himself, and his swirling synthesizer arrangements, particularly on the extended version of “Roadstar” that closes the CD, are imaginative and well-crafted.

-T. Flamm

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