Album Review: Steve Mahoney – Roadtrip III

Steve Mahoney is an artist who first featured on this blog in February this year when Jane shared his track All The Best. Now the London-based musician is back, this time with a new album. It’s called Roadtrip III.

By Graeme Smith

For the album, Steve has taken things back to basics, returning to the writing and recording style he used in his twenties. It’s also his ‘lockdown’ album and there’s something wonderfully intimate about it all. The road trip opens with the aforementioned All The Best. It’s a gentle, acoustic number where Steve’s smooth vocals take centre stage. The lyrics are full of a wistful regret but also acceptance. It proves a beautiful introduction to Steve’s world and the Neil Young-esque character of his sound.

Title track Roadtrip III is livelier, with percussion that suggests movement and a slow-burning country pop arrangement that builds nicely to a soaring chorus. Leave It Alone gives us a sense of melancholia and heartbreak while I Can’t Think About It Now keeps things slow and meditative. How The Mighty Have Fallen broods with a sense of folksy unease. You’re Gonna Have to Slow Down rounds off the first half of the album with some bluesy, finger-picking catharsis.

Can’t Stand Me opens the album’s second half with some bass-y introspection paired with brighter, hopeful notes. Out of Love Revisited is delicate and bristles with an understated passion in its lyrics. You Only Live When You Love contrasts it with a bittersweet and romantic arrangement. Wait Some More plods along with an implied impatience. Mac Is Here is a raw and ambient interlude before I’m In Love with the World closes the album with a bouncy country blues farewell.

Roadtrip III is an album full of rich and relatable storytelling. Steve brings the emotion of its twelve tracks to life through his charismatic vocals and his back to basics acoustic country sound. Steve has been making music for two decades and it shows in his craftmanship. His latest album is a triumph!

You can listen to Roadtrip III below.