Steve Poltz

One Left Shoe

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Steve Poltz had the chance to record his first solo album in 1997, after Jewel's "You Were Meant for Me" -- a song he had co-written with the singer/songwriter -- spent months in the upper reaches of the charts. Poltz, who had been in the Rugburns for several years, took full advantage of his opportunity, turning in One Left Shoe, an album filled with collaborators, cameos and producers of the first rank. Like Jewel, Poltz is an unassuming singer/songwriter whose primary strength is melody, not lyrics. However, his lyrics aren't as simplistic as Jewel's, which adds a bit of weight to One Left Shoe. The music also has a bit more weight than Pieces of You, largely because it wasn't recorded live in concert. Producer J. Steven Soles gives Poltz's appealing adult alternative pop a slight folk and alt-country edge, bringing in such musicians as Benmont Tench, Jim Keltner, Van Dyke Parks, Jewel and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones horn section for cameos. The detailed, considered production makes the dull moments tolerable, and they add a nice sheen to the best songs. Poltz still sounds a little unsure of himself in places on One Left Shoe, but on the whole, it's a promising debut.

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