Steve Means

Rescue Me

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Singer/songwriter Steve Means may be a transplanted Nashville resident from Cincinnati with a college following, but listening to his debut EP Rescue Me, it would be easy to assume that somewhere in his résumé was a stint at the Berklee School of Music. There isn't, but Means has that Berklee sound in which pop flirts with jazz. The guitar licks are tasty, the rhythm section has a percolating groove, and Means uses his phlegmy tenor to caress his sensitive, romantic lyrics, occasionally jumping into a falsetto note unexpectedly. Younger listeners inevitably will be reminded of Berklee's own John Mayer, while slightly older ones will think of Michael Franks. It's a sophisticated adult pop sound that's pleasing to the ears, but the field may not support another voice so much like those that have gone before (and are still around).

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