Steve Emm - Dangerous Goods (CD)

Reference: 00367

new & sealed jewel case CD

Label: Steelheart Records


Madonna, what a record Stefano Mainini aka Steve Emm has recorded! Well, the review might as well end here, because if you are a lover of aor/westcoast with the sound rooted in the early 80s, you should definitely buy and consume this record.

If the first album First Strike (review HERE) focused on '85 to '89 as references and offered songs that had their strength in the chorus hook, the atmospherics on this second Dangerous Goods are more dedicated to the pre-'85s, with insane attention to recreating the sounds of the era with detail, precision and a 360-degree view.

You breathe the air of American soloists à la Rick Springfield and Eddie Money, but also Benny Mardones, especially on vocals. From the first tracks the music flows like a river in the sounds of the eighties and the impression of a record straight out of that era is clear and consistent, also thanks to the timbre Steve managed to give to the sound, listen to the opener In And Out Of Love to believe it. Shock My Heart, with its potential radio hit structure, is more along the lines of the 'pop anthem' of those years. Power Switch is more laid back and quiet, while Girl Like You is a Huey Lewis And The News piece and immediately catapults you into Back To The Future atmospheres with its saxophone interludes. Other tracks of outstanding calibre are: Breakin' The Ice and Junk Love with an almost Survivor-like tempo, Lack Of Will with a blues soul and the closing ballad Every Little Piece Of My Heart where tribute is paid to Rick Springfield and we enjoy a chilling sax solo.

The whole album grows with each listen and gives an impression of maturity and confidence that is rare in these latitudes. Any American producer in his prime would have been desperate to get his hands on a batch of songs like this, and if Mecca's latest album has made use of Stefano's songwriting skills, it must mean something. The best release of the year so far at least, but I'm pretty sure it'll have no trouble making the top ten for many of us.

P.s. Little treat for Japan Edition fetishists: if you contact Stefano, he will provide you with the pdf of the obi to print out and turn the CD into a collector's item.


1. In And Out Of Love
2. Shock My Heart
3. Power Switch
4. Girl Like You
5. Monkey On Your Back
6. Breakin’ The Ice
7. Dangerous Game
8. Junk Love
9. Lack Of Will
10. Don’t Wanna Be Somebody
11. Every Little Piece Of My Heart