Stee Downes new album The Bigger Picture finally sees the light of day. Eight whole years have gone by since Stee Downes ecstasized the entire world with his debut „All In A Day“ (SK203CD). It probably must have been all the different, formidable collaborations with the crème de la crème of the pop appealing house music scene, from Flight Facilities („Hold Me Down“, 2014), Kraak & Smaak („How We Gonna Stop The Time“, 2014), Alex Barck („Like A Drug“, 2014), Lovebirds („Want You In My Soul“, 2011) to Kyodai („Music Rises Up“, 2013) or Marlow („Something Is Coming“, 2016), which kept the bustling Dublin based singer and musician again and again from raising the ante by releasing his long-awaited sophomore album.
“The Bigger Picture” though, is an album worth waiting for in every respect. The eleven songs are altogether a bit more mature than everything Downes has ever recorded to this day. Every track embeds a load of funk – spread over the 60 minutes never showing a disposition to get jittery but twists the listener round one’s little finger smoothly and in a laid-back fashion hard to compare. “Lock And Load” and “Never Good Enough” are two textbook examples of throttled funkyness paired with boundless sex appeal. The preliminary single and opener “Big Mistake” is one of these songs literally inviting you to sing along. „You gonna get your life in check“ is just one of the album’s many punch lines which will creep into your mind like an earworm. That’s why it’s hardly surprising that it took Downes so long to compose these eleven gems and finally, after several misrouted attempts, finding the matching co-producer in Pascal Blanche (of Chasing Kurt) and the perfect sound for his condign successor on Sonar Kollektiv. After all one of the tracks is called “Dignity”, a song with which Stee Downes explains what this is all about: To believe in yourself, to pull your own thing through no matter the effort it takes and trouble it may cause, and first and foremost to preserve your own freedom in whatever you try to achieve. “The Bigger Picture” radiates in all its facets, in its lyrics, in its production and in its casual groove an eternal optimism. You can prescribe this album extraordinaire easily for repeatedly daily consumption. One thing is for sure by all means: With “The Bigger Picture” Stee Downes has arrived all the way at the top, at the zenith of his glory.