Tommy Shane Steiner

Then Came the Night (RCA)

Phases and Stages

Tommy Shane Steiner

Then Came the Night (RCA) Mmmmm, Velveeta. Smooth, consistent, predictable. The debut from Austin-launched hat act Tommy Shane Steiner is typical of contemporary "Hot Country," except it's not as good as most. Kicking off with the uptempo "That Just Wouldn't Be Me," complete with a solo by session guitar honcho Brent Mason, things devolve from bad to worse before turning into countrified elevator music. Songs like "Tell Me Where It Hurts" and "What If She's an Angel" drip with ersatz sentimentality delivered with overblown production. It gets worse; the gimmicky "What We're Gonna Do About It" (about putting the make on a girl in line at Starbucks) and "Havin' a Good Time," where Steiner gets all down and funky for a song about small town life(?!). The clincher, though, is a cover of the Seventies soft-rock hit "I Go Crazy" that's even more insipid than the original. It must be tough to make music that's this bland and inoffensive. Even a duet with Randy Travis ("I Don't Need Another Reason") utterly fails to catch fire. It's amazing that this kind of stuff can be called country music at all; it sounds like flat Eighties adult-contemporary rock, bloodless, slick, and incredibly tedious. For all these reasons, you'll probably be hearing it on country radio soon. God help us.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Chapter One (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Kendall Beard
Here Comes Trouble (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Jerry Renshaw
SXSW Live Shots
Export Sweden Showcase

March 19, 2004

SXSW Live Shots
Amsterdam Calling

March 19, 2004

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle