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This Is Steve is the third album by acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion AKA Delicate Steve. For his first album in four years Steve has saved up an original tempest of sounds from funk to jazz from African rhythms to pop; no wonder he caught the eye (or ear) of the legendary Paul Simon who used him to play slide guitar on his latest offering.

The ten track record has moments of an ambient nature, but it's also endlessly listenable simply because there is so much going on as the album jumps from wacky electronic samples via feverish frayed guitar work. Take the opener, Animals, its 70s feel pulls us in with its lazy guitar and infectious beat, before switching direction entirely. Nightlife adds the swagger of a carnival before dropping in a guitar sound that was used extensively on Tina Turner's 1986 album Break Every Rule; the two elements couldn't be further apart but they fit perfectly to create the picture of a crazy night on the town.

Tracks like Together and Winners (that also has a Simon and Garfunkel feel) have such a strong melody embedded in them that you'll be creating your own lyrics or adding a 'do, do, do, be' over the top whenever you listen. The album's titular track brings the fusion of sounds to a tender finale by way of a lonesome piano and sleepy guitar, that lets us in a little bit further to the mind of this unique musician.

This Is Steve at its worst is brilliantly bonkers and at its best, is wonderfully atmospheric.

Groupie Rating: 4/5

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