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Alive On Arrival

Steve Forbert

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Album Review

Steve Forbert's youthful features and boyish voice certainly become misleading once his lyrics are heard. His folk-rock styled songs are usually centered around life's ups and downs and the problems of adulthood, portraying him as an artist who's just trying to get by. Alive on Arrival is an album full of earnest tunes about loneliness, self-worth, aspirations, and disappointments. Forbert's wispy, innocent sounding voice floats gently (and cuts roughly) over his acoustic guitar to homespun ditties with a down-to-earth feel. This album represents Forbert's music perfectly, and even though his latter albums sound less subtle, it is Alive on Arrival that so aptly personifies him. "Going Down to Laurel" has his voice aching about the dirtiness of the city and the beauty of his true love, and "Steve Forbert's Midsummer Night's Toast" is an interesting musical jaunt through the bittersweet world of growing up. Forbert really comes to life on "What Kinda Guy?," humorously explaining what a simplified, easygoing chap he is. The kick-back aura of Alive on Arrival puts the emphasis on the down and out Forbert while feelings of sentiment and adolescence slowly emerge with each passing song. This album makes for a great late-night listen.

Customer Reviews

Alive & Well

This record made me happy when I wore it out on vinyl in my early 20s. Some nights I think it saved my life. I am exactly Mr. Forbert's age and this record still makes me happy. I've seen many of the great concerts of my era, but I still remember seeing Forbert when this record came out. He was so generous and just as happy to be with us as we were to be with him.

many gr

Alive on Arrival

Debut album for a songwriter wise beyond his years. Tells the story of the Missisippi kid traveling to NYC to make it in the late 70's. Called by many reviewers the next Dylan, he stubbornly stuck to his own path and created meaningful music that didn't explode commercially, but earned a dedicated following that still follows him today. Opener "Going Donw to Laurel" expresses the excitement of young love, while "It isn't gonna be that way" reveals the crushing acknowledgement that life often hands you lemons. Longing for home can be found in "Tonight...", "Big City Cat" and "Grand Central Station", and Steve's raspy voice makes it all seem so real. Wore this one out in vinyl and cassette, and still listen to it thirty-plus years on.

Still alive after 36 years

I still listen to this album from time to time . It is one of the greatest debut albums ever ...the songs are incredible . The songs are deep and sorrowful , full of meaning .... I had the pleasure of meeting him once after a show in Poughkeepsie New York at a place called the chance ..

Biography

Born: December 13, 1954 in Meridian, MS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Anointed "the new Dylan" upon his recording debut, folk-rock singer/songwriter Steve Forbert was born in Meridian, MS, in 1954. After learning guitar at age 11, he spent his high school years playing in a variety of local bands before quitting his job as a truck driver and moving to New York City at the age of 21. There, he performed for spare change in Grand Central Station before working his way up to the Manhattan club circuit. After signing to Nemperor, Forbert debuted in 1978 with Alive on Arrival,...
Full Bio