Steve Bertrand – Pain Is A Megaphone

Steve Bertrand – Pain Is A Megaphone / 2007 Icon MES / 9 Tracks / /

Steve Bertrand starts off “Pain Is A Megaphone” in a pop-rock way. The first track on the CD is “The Last Mile Is The Longest”, and it shows influences as wide as Bon Jovi, Matchbox 20, Semisonic, and Bryan Adams. Most times  on an album it feels as if the music and the vocals have two different sets of influences, but “Pain Is A Megaphone” feels as if the music and vocals are working together to make a more cohesive album. “The Last Mile Is The Longest” is the first track, and it immediately shows listeners that Bertrand is capable of being a major player on radio rotation. The next track, “In The Dreaming”, starts with those same fuzzy guitars and clear arrangements that were present on “The Last Mile”, but allow the rest of the band to rest a little while Bertrand’s vocals take the major part of the track.

This provides a different approach by Bertrand while still sticking in pretty much the same genre. There is a more Goo Goo Dolls meets Wallflowers sound to this track, but those two acts are fairly close to the previous acts mentioned. There is high cohesion on “Pain Is A Megaphone”, but this does not manifest into an album trapped into a corner. When it seems as if the disc may go that way, all that is needed is a shift from electric to acoustic or something similar, which is something that happens often to large fanfare on this disc. “What If Everything Goes Right” is a slightly harder track than individuals listening to Bertrand would expect.

The track has hints of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden to it, and while the vocals are still doing the same clear, Stephen Curtis Chapman-like approach, the harder style does not always mesh well with them. This track shows that Bertrand is not infallible; the song may be scatchy in its’ own right, but its’ jaggy sound seems ready for a makeover. “Renting a Room” goes back to the normal sound of Bertrand, and the hopeful style of Bertrand during the track works well with the inspirational guitar/drum dynamic present. Bertrand comes through with a perfectly average in “Pain Is a Megaphone”. There are not those tracks present that would get individuals to really appreciate what ey is doing and push eir up the chart. Perhaps in the near future, in a later album, Bertrand can grab the brass ring.

Top Tracks: Sell Out, The Last Mile Is The Longest

Rating: 4.8/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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