Track-By-Track Album Review: Steve Grand – Not The End Of Me

We’ve been following Steve Grand’s career ever since he dropped the awesome music video to “All-American Boy”, which went viral, back in 2013. He has come a long way since then, and this week saw him drop his anticipated sophomore album titled “Not The End Of Me”, and we can’t get over how much he’s grown as an artist.

He has come so far since his debut single; Steve Grand set on to the music scene with an absolutely incredible music video for his first song “All-American Boy”; if you haven’t seen the music video, then we urge you to watch it right now. Prior to his singing career, he was a model, and images of those days are still being spread throughout social media. Now, he’s a true artist, having gone on to release a number of singles and a debut album, titled “All American Boy”. This album was funded through Kickstarter and became the third most-funded music project in Kickstarter’s history, and became the number one most-funded music Kickstarter by a musician never affiliated with a label at the time. Since then he’s released cover songs, collaborated with Eli Lieb on the song “Look Away“, had his single “We Are The Night” remixed by Dave Audé, and he released a Christmas cover version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”.

In anticipation of this album, he released the first single, “Walking“, which also gained a music video that received quite a lot of attention. Then, just last month he surprised us all by dropping two awesome promotional singles, which were “Don’t Let The Light In” and title track “Not The End Of Me“. Most recently, he released a music video for the former song – expect an article on that very soon. He sure has been treating us lately and now this album is out and we are fully loving it, so much so that we just had to do a track by track album review; so here are our thoughts.

Walking

This was the first single from the album and it’s quite a pleasant yet meaningful track, which just makes it completely perfect as the song to open the album with. “Walking” is just pure pop Steve Grand, reminding us slightly of his previous jovial single “Stay” that is still a tune today. Throughout this song, he chants “How can you love me?” during the chorus whilst filling the verses with how he has messed up and that he knows he has let his lover down. It’s such a passionate song with a strong beat behind it, as he is determined to make amends. His voice sounds superb on this track, and the song alone shows off his capabilities as an artist.

Pink Champagne

This is Steve Grand poetry at its finest with brilliant beautiful rhymes throughout with a rhythmic beat and heartfelt lyrics. “Pink Champagne” may just be the alcoholic beverage we stay away from – give us the whiskey from “Whiskey Crime”, in the first album, any day though. We hear Steve Grand sing about various things, muddling them up as if the pink champagne has got to him, from a one night stand to the blogs who rip him apart (not us, that’s for sure), right down to him feeling older and tired for fighting for his dream; but he spins it all up in the chorus’ where he keeps fighting, keeps living, and keeps enjoying life – just like the rest of us. There’s also a quirky talking final verse that reminds us of something Taylor Swift or Christina Aguilera would do. This “Pink Champagne” is a sure-fire hit, that will probably become a treasured track by many, which has an ending double-chorus, we adore, that we haven’t heard in years. Technically brilliant, beyond catchy, and vocally inspiring; if this isn’t his next single with an official music video, we will be disappointed.

Disciple

It’s time for this male singer-songwriter to take us to church, and he sure does that with “Disciple”. It’s very personal to Steve Grand, with him claiming that he’s very “happy with how it turned out.” It certainly stands out on the album both lyrically and vocally. On the lyric side, it’s clear he wasn’t in the best of moods when he wrote it, but it is times like these where the best songs are born – just writing and creating this song proves that he fought his demons and will continue to do so. Vocally, it is the best we’ve heard from him, it’s raw emotion from start to finish with vocal runs that just proves that this singer-songwriter deserves to be iconic within the music industry.

Don’t Let The Light In

Unofficially the second single from the album, this has recently received a music video to accompany it (article about that is coming soon). One of our favourite tracks on the album, Steve Grand’s voice sounds amazing and it has this refresh “All-American Boy” ballad sound to it. It’s full of strength and chemistry, showing that he is willing to fight for the love he has for this person.

Safe And Sound

As soon as this piano-led track starts we get goosebumps, it reminds us of a lost track by Elton John that Steve Grand just happens to have come across – it’s just so passionate and real, completely coming from the heart. Rhythmically groovy and totally unforgettable with some key metaphorical lyrics throughout, this is one song we will never forget. Lyrics wise, Steve Grand takes us on a journey; the beginning showcases someone who isn’t ready for a committed relationship, yet he still wants someone there for him; then he grows in the second verse into someone who is ready and prepared to do what it takes. It’s a heartfelt genuine song that will certainly be stuck in our heads from time to time.

Ain’t It Something

About time we have something to make us smile about on this album. Steve Grand is a great story-teller and this song is the most narrative of them all as he sings in a gentle relaxed way about a guy who approaches him at the bar and they connect. We’ve all been there, done that, and fallen in love from that first conversation whilst others have scars instead. This song could’ve gone either way but Steve Grand has clearly drawn from a nice pleasant past experience, and we’re living it with him through this song; that’s what makes it so lonely, and yet as the song goes on, this guy walks away, never to be seen again, leaving Steve Grand lonely once more.

Not The End Of Me

Time for the title track and we are so not surprised why he chose to name this album after this song; all it takes is one listen and you’ll feel his honesty and real emotion about loneliness. The best of us have been in this position, losing ourselves to loneliness, but deciding that it’s not the end of us and we pick ourselves back up and stay strong.

Anti Hero

The backing track of this song is instantly reminiscent of “We Own The Night”, from his first album, but that is as far as the similarities go, as the songs are very different as they progress. “Anti Hero” delves deep, putting his thoughts and feelings on the surface after wrapping it all in a narrative storyline that was brutally descriptive. This one sure paints a story and Steve Grand has clearly been in a depression cycle as it’s clear from some, if not all, his tracks thus far, and yet here he is with his second album and beyond emotional tracks that have got his fans adoring him; this one alone brought tears to our eyes.

Good To See You

Halfway through the album, and we’re hoping for a track to lift the mood up with, and the title alone suggests that this is the one. It starts off with a sensual piano chord that piques all of our interests. It was promising to start with, as Steve Grand launches us into another one-night-stand story, and that’s what it is. He reflects on the past and the walls that he built up inside against people who genuinely cared and how they became stronger as time went on. Vocally, he’s really feeling this track and it’s completely well-written allowing him to sing it perfectly; and, the backing track is just superb and compliments his voice naturally.

All I Want

Piano chords start this track off again, but as soon as Steve Grand’s voice kicks in we realise he’s taken us to a jazz bar where his soulful vocal is resonating around the room on this “All I Want” track. There’s nothing like passion and need of someone who isn’t available to you and this song is about being the person someone cheats with; but that always begs the statement ‘once a cheater always a cheater’ and do you really want someone like that in your life who is more than likely always up to no good? However, within the moment those morals don’t run through your head and you’re left with want, want, and more want. We could so see the perfect music video for this song; with a brilliant performance piece from this singer-songwriter as he showcases his emotion to the camera, unleashing it to the viewers.

You Or The Music

This song sure switches the whole album up, leading off with guitars and drums to introduce the song; we’re getting versatile Steve Grand here – YAS! What isn’t new is Steve Grand thinking that he’s not good enough to be loved by someone, and once again pushing them away. He doesn’t want them to go and begs them not to ask him to choose between them and music, but then ultimately Steve Grand tells him to run away in the final verse. He has been fighting so long for this dream he’s turning into a reality, and the right person will come along, but anyone who expects or even asks him to give up his dream for them is not someone who deserves to be in his life – brutal honesty right there. This is a raw and meaningful song that just proves that Steve Grand can create such in-depth narration through simple lyrics and past experiences.

Can’t Go Back

This is the final track on the album that we haven’t heard before (the tracks below are demos, acoustics, or shorter versions), so this has got to be beyond powerful, and that it is. It is an extremely slow but gentle ballad joined by a piano in the background. This is as personal as it gets, the whole album has been personal, but Steve Grand cuts in deep with this one as he deals with all that he’s been through. This is totally not an easy song to sing, and yet there is not one bad note or riff or twist in this making it just truly unforgettable – this one track is a total must-listen.

Walking – Single Version

What’s the easiest way of getting your first single on the album twice? Give us two very similar versions with slightly different titles. This “Walking” track is apparently the single version, except it’s longer by just five seconds. The pace does seem a bit faster, although we can’t be sure after hearing the 11 tracks in between. Regardless, we’re glad to see this appear in the album again, because it’s such a brilliant song. Also, Steve Grand, if you’re wondering how we could love you, just listen to your amazing voice on all of these songs, this is why your fan base loves you – us included.

Don’t Let The Light In (Acoustic)

Could this song get any more slower? It’s clear that it can and it’s so nice to hear Steve Grand’s vocals exposed even more on this track. Just hearing it again near the end of the album certainly makes sure that the song embeds itself in our skulls, it’s certainly catchy and the vocal is one that certainly gives us chills and goosebumps at the same time.

Ain’t It Somethin (Demo)

The demo is certainly shorter than the original – which appears mid-way through the album – by 46 seconds. It strips the song back even more and relaxes the vocal, giving us this surprising reggae vibe, that comes out of nowhere considering we didn’t get this feeling the first time around, and yet Steve Grand suits it perfectly – he’s one artist that can make anything work.

This album, “Not The End Of Me”, just shows Steve Grand’s mentality during his songwriting process. Most of the songs factor in his life and how down he has been recently in regards to love, life, press, music, and dreams. He’s one hell of a fighter though, as he’s proved throughout this album and we are hoping that more upbeat tracks follow on his next album – and yes, Steve Grand, you will do a third album, and a fourth, and a fifth, and maybe a sixth, then a greatest hits album, because you deserve to be within the music industry, especially on account of this album alone. We’ve never felt so much hardcore passion, honesty, and spirit from a collection of tracks.

Throughout, we are taken on a journey of all that Steve Grand has been through, and it’s bound to hit everyone in the heart, including the stone-cold people out there. This is not the end of us, this is not the end of you, and this is not the end of Steve Grand. Keep fighting, keep facing those demons, and never ever give up.

“Not The End Of Me” is available to download and stream right now. We urge you to at least listen to these songs. The album can be bought cheaper on Steve Grand’s official site, where various merchandise products are available, alongside this album in digital, CD, and vinyl options, as well as signed versions.

What do you make of Steve Grand’s sophomore album “Not The End Of Me”? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

25-year-old writer, blogger, author and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni