Well, if that isn’t the feel good hit of the summer I’d like to know what is! Although it is barely spring but there’s nothing wrong with being prepared. As earnest heroes of indie crank out earnest indie songs, rockers master their clichéd poses and pop divas suggest pointless dance routines which everyone will have given up on by next week, Steve takes a simpler approach. Real Times sees him and the band working his trademark sound, one that is born where pop, funky rock and soul all collide. It is fun, infectious and straight to the point.
It is a wonderfully commercial song but without relying on the obvious or the cliched. It runs on an energetic sultry groove, is clean-limbed, well crafted and uncluttered and offers infectiousness and style in equal measure. As always, Steve Ryan represents the alternative to the usual Day-Glo, sugar rush, pop infused R&B that is the standard chart fodder these days and offers something with more integrity. But he does so without veering too far from what most people expect from the genre, it’s just that his choices are braver, pander less to the average listeners expectations and take more thought provoking journeys.