Steve Forbert's debut album in 1978, Alive on Arrival, got him slapped with the "new Dylan" sticker, a death watch if there ever was one, since only Bob Dylan is or ever will be Bob Dylan, and placed unfair expectations on this gifted singer and songwriter from Mississippi. Forbert did manage a lone radio hit, "Romeo's Tune," in 1979, and while he's recorded a lot of impressive songs and albums since, the Dylan label was an albatross, and Forbert has been pretty much a well-kept secret ever since. His latest, the sparse and moving Over with You, finds his voice showing some wear and tear, but his songwriting, always more directly personal than Dylan's, is as sharp as ever.
Steve Forbert doesn’t look back. The songs on his latest release, Over With You, blithely allude to a troublesome past, but they are more concerned with looking to the future for redemption—or at least a better tomorrow. He just wants to make things right, give another 10 percent, and try harder. But Forbert knows his limits.
There’s no mistaking the scratchy man-boy voice that has remained folk-rocker Steve Forbert’s distinctive calling card since his appropriately titled 1978 debut Alive on Arrival. This is the Mississippi by way of New York City singer/songwriter’s 14th studio set (he’s also had a batch of live ones) and it sounds a lot like his others. While the sheer youthful exuberance he exuded early on is tamped down substantially, Forbert can sing nearly anything and make it sound emotionally direct and heartfelt.