STEVE PERRY - 'Traces' (First Playback Pre-Review)

Friday, October 5, 2018
STEVE PERRY will release his brand new 10 track studio album 'Traces' on October 5 worldwide via Fantasy Records (a division of Concord Records/UMG)
I was fortunate enough to get a secure audio stream of the new Steve Perry album ‘Traces’, thanks to Universal. Below are my first impressions, written while listening to the album for the very first time. A full feature review will appear here in due course and in the upcoming issue of Fireworks Magazine.
01. No Erasin' 04:07
Writers: Steve Perry, David Spreng
I’m still enjoying the lead track and first single 'No Erasin'. Immediately memorable and how good is it to hear this voice again? So we've all heard the song...what's next is THE question!
02. We're Still Here 04:06
Writers: Steve Perry, Brian West
'We're Still Here' is the second track, written with Brian West. It's a ballad as expected. It is a very smooth, moody ballad with a more direct and unfiltered lead vocal. The chorus isn't big, but it's cool. Laid back and textured with modern production effects. Steve sounds great. Soul harmonies pop up here and there.
03. Most Of All 04:23
Writers: Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum
'Most Of All' is another very sparse, soft and smooth ballad, this time lead primarily by Steve's voice and a grand piano. The chorus lifts tempo slightly as does Steve's voice. I'm guessing this is going to take some time to get to know but will be a favorite. It is a very smooth track and not unlike Strange Medicine's slower moments, a nice guitar solo and plenty of soul.
04. No More Cryin' 04:29
Writers: Dan Wilson, Steve Perry
'No More Cryin' is another ballad, but at least all 3 so far have each had a different style. This one is more bluesy with a touch of Motown to it. The chorus lifts & has some modern styled guitar riffing. Co-written with Dan Wilson, this is going to be another highlight.
05. In The Rain 04:06
Writers: Steve Perry, David Spreng
'In The Rain' is written by Steve & David Spreng. It has starts off as another slow piano ballad, with a warm, soulful vocal and here comes some orchestration... It is very sparse...almost no percussion, just piano and vocal. Some great vocals here.
06. Sun Shines Gray 03:57
Writers: Steve Perry, John 5, Thom Flowers
'Sun Shines Grey' is co-written with John 5 and producer Thom Flowers. We've hit an uptempo one folks! The song reminds me a little of Journey's Trial By Fire sound: almost a Can't Tame The Lion vibe, but modernized. I could imagine Neal Schon playing on this. John 5 is delivers a cool solo and can be heard throughout, albeit in an understated role.
07. You Belong To Me 04:07
Writers: Steve Perry, Barry Eastmond
'You Belong To Me' is another slow, soft piano ballad with some more string orchestration in place and of course, an ultra-smooth and soulful vocal. There's some rasp in that voice and yes, it's aged, but still full of those classic Perry nuances.
08. Easy To Love 04:03
Writers: Steve Perry, Thom Flowers
'Easy To Love' is yes, another ballad...a little different this time. Percussion and some organ accompany another slow, steady vocal. The chorus jumps in tempo with some classic Perry soul harmonies. This is definitely another ballad with a familiar vibe.
09. I Need You 02:59
Writer: George Harrison
'I Need You' is a cover of the Beatles tune, a mere 2.59 in length, this ballad features the most familiar Perry vocal sound yet! Soft, slow,’s the theme of the record.
10. We Fly 03:56
Writers: Steve Perry, Jeff Babko
Closing out the standard edition of this album 'We Fly' is...wait for it...wait for it...a ballad! The first minute features only Steve's vocal. Talk about putting yourself out there! An intense song that builds as it goes with atmospheric keyboards in the background. Should be another favorite in time.
Album Produced by: Steve Perry & Thom Flowers
Well folks, that's that! Obviously, one should not ever pass judgment on a record after just one listen, so stay tuned for my full, detailed review soon. Much more listening to do here.
Upfront I'll say that it sounds great but is a very slow paced record. Not unexpected I guess with the subject matter in mind and the time passed since we last heard from “the voice”.
All but 2 tracks are ballads and overall the tempo and the soulfulness of the songs clearly makes this a mood listening album. Perfect for when the situation calls for it, but not for all situations.
Thank You Steve Perry for coming back to share your voice with us fans.
RELEASE DATE: October 5th, 2018
1. No Erasin’
2. We’re Still Here
3. Most Of All
4. No More Cryin’
5. In The Rain
6. Sun Shines Gray
7. You Belong To Me
8. Easy To Love
9. I Need You
10. We Fly
11. October in New York (Deluxe edition only)
12. Angel Eyes (Deluxe edition only)
13. Call On Me (Deluxe edition only)
14. Could We Be Somethin’ Again (Deluxe edition only)
15. Blue Jays Fly (Deluxe edition only)