Steve Burns - Songs For Dustmites (Cover Artwork)

Steve Burns

Songs For Dustmites (2003)

Pias America

It's a shame that every single time this band (well, one guy) will be reviewed, interviewed, brought up in casual conversation, or even thought about, the popular children's television show "Blue's Clues" will be mentioned. Just go to his site and click the link that says "Where is the green striped shirt?" and you will be greeted by the following statement: "We, meaning Steve Burns, were the host of nickelodeon's show blues clues for 6 amazing years. Now we have made an album of music for grown-ups." That's right, the very same guy that, according to urban legend, was dead or something after a six year stint on a cable TV show has released a CD.

Now, if you still aren't curious to hear this record, here's another thing that should make you interested; The Flaming Lips - who I happen to believe are one of the greatest bands of our generation - have helped Steve out with the production of this new album, and it shows. If you are a fan of the Lips' latest effort Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots it's almost guaranteed that you will like this too....a lot. While Steve doesn't possess the seasoned wisdom of the Flaming Lips, he shares their limitless enthusiasm and incredible positive outlook. All the songs on this album dance around in such a carefree way, you can't help but crack a smile. It sounds like a bunch of friends got together on Saturdays and had a ball recording music and went on with their lives. Songs For Dustmites is a working-man's album; it's simple and gets its point across without becoming some repeating drone in your head.

Right off the bat, an erie piano and ambient sounds introduce a unique sound. Flaming Lips style zany sound effects abound accompanied by a string section and acoustic and electric guitars break into the feel-good anthem "Mighty Little Man". As the album unfolds we are taken into a spacey world inside the mind of the sometimes quirky, but overall pretty normal, Steve Burns. This album has its moments of great sincerity, as well as fun, making Steve out to be a really loveable guy. Just because this album is fun doesn't mean its silly or childish. On the stripped down acoustic track, "A Reason", he delicately sings "I need a reason to see you again, give me a reason...let's not be friends". Some of the songs are a bit slow at times, but still manage to grab attention. While I am partial to the title "Music For Montgomery County, PA" (I practically live there), it's basically slow ambient filler music. The album has its moments of euphonious beauty such as the dribbling piano strokes and synthesizers on "A Song For Dustmites" or the dreamy progression of "Henry Krinkles Lament".

This is one of those albums that you could listen to while on the porch with friends in the summer or sitting on a winter bench with a loved one watching the city lights. It's autumn music at its unconcerned best.