With a Beta Band reformation seemingly never further away there is no better antidote than a new album from their maverick former singer; About The Light is Steve Mason’s fourth solo release proper – and a timely reminder that always taking the industry’s easy dollar isn’t for everyone.
That said, the often contrary Scot is finally talking himself up after years of second guessing a talent for writing great pop songs, one bolstered here by working collaboratively during the recording process with his live band and the hiring of veteran producer Stephen Street.
About The Light as a result has a more energetic and rollicking dynamic, complete with a well-used brass section and soul drenched backing vocals. The fourty something hasn’t completely lost his anger – opener America Is Your Boyfriend skewers a world going off the rails – but the likes of Stars Around My Heart, Walking Away From Love and closer The End are all punchy, joyful tunes that consciously leave few listeners behind.
A man whose entire career has been about doors opening and closing, Steve Mason finally seems in full control of his destiny. Few artists who talk about achieving greatness are capable of it – when he says it, attention needs to be paid.
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