Steve Wynn Crossing Dragon Bridge (Rock Ridge Music)
By Thomas Bond
After three stellar albums known as the “desert trilogy” because they were made in Tucson, singer/songwriter Steve Wynn set off for a change of scenery for his new disc Crossing Dragon Bridge. Recorded in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, the record is a tasteful mix of Americana and Eastern European sounds, woven tightly together by Wynn's always compelling narratives. He's been a master storyteller since his days fronting the Dream Syndicate a quarter-century ago.
In “Manhattan Faultline,” Wynn fictionalizes seismic activity in New York City in verse one, waxes autobiographical about his move from LA to NYC in verse two and then acutely details a breakup in verse three:
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"I can sift through the rubble to track down the blame I can feel righteous and just, I can feel nothing but shame But what does it matter when I end up alone?"
Apparently, angst ain't just the province of the young. Meanwhile, Wynn tries youth on for size in “Annie & Me,” a song about a couple of teenage tearaways. Singing of youthful indiscretions, he betrays his middle age with a knowing wink by nodding to both Roxy Music and David Bowie in the single line: “Love is the drug for the young Americans.”
Once regarded as a junior Neil Young-cum-Lou Reed, Wynn has forged a critically-acclaimed career that's lasted into his middle age and is still going strong, much like those of his forebears. And like Young and Reed, Wynn may not be selling as many units as he did when he was younger, but for the audience that's continued to follow him as they've both aged, the rewards are rich.
Crossing Dragon Bridge is in stores now.