Steve Burns Songs for Dustmites

[PIAS America; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: indie pop, alternative rock
Others: Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, Spiritualized

I am a father of four beautiful children under that age of seven. You may wonder why I’m disclosing this information; but bear with me because it pertains to the phenomenally talented, refashioned artist under the name of Steve Burns. Many individuals who will attempt to review Steve Burns’ Songs for Dustmites will undoubtedly mention his affiliation to the popular kids show Blue’s Clues. Yes, he was Steve with his green striped shirt and his pen and pad in hand. But what remains clear is that he has taken a slightly different path since his departure from the show. This is where I tell you that I have spent way too much time in front of the television watching a grown man dance with cartoons in the last six years! Poor guy, what has he done to himself! Perhaps it is why I felt a shred of pity for him and decided to give his album a “non-cartoon’ listen. And what I discovered is that I can fully and undoubtedly relate to what Steve Burns has accomplished with the release of Songs for Dustmites. I believe that this record signifies his final departure from the days of Saturday morning cartoon forever.

The aura of the album is evident from the first song “Mighty Little Man,” drenched with Flaming Lips’ dreamy guitar-pop. Produced by Lips’ own David Fridmann, Songs for Dustmites has a familiar star quality about it. But what shine throughout this record is the musical and lyrical abilities of Steve Burns. His poignant and gripping lyrics are truly heartfelt and dangerously addictive. Like many children who watched and danced with him in the past, I found myself thoroughly enthralled by his enchanting and gripping vocals. And with the attachment of Fridmann’s trusty musical sound and production, Steve Burns has composed a beautiful and remarkable pop record.

In conclusion, Songs for Dustmites is a slap in the face to any critic who doesn’t give Steve Burns a chance. I’ll tell you, I wasn’t going to give him the time of day on this record, and I truly hoped to rate it amongst the worst of the year in revenge for the long and dreadful years of Blue’s Clues that he had bestowed upon me. But he has beaten the odds and has accomplished what he had hoped for in this record. Three clues: Great Lyrics – Great Production – Great Album = Goodbye children forever!

1. Mighty little man
2. What I do on Saturdays
3. Maintain
4. >1
5. Troposhere
6. Stick around
7. A reason
8. Music for Montgomery County, PA
9. A song for dustmites
10. Super strings
11. A snivelling mess
12. Henry Krinkle’s lament

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