ALBUM REVIEW: Steve Moakler Considers the Important Things in Life on ‘Make a Little Room’
Steve Moakler wants us all to make some space in our lives to slow down, take notice of small, important things, and connect with the people around us. His latest album, Make a Little Room, acts as musical guide that lyrically nudges us toward that new direction.
On the title track, he sings, "Make a little room for the real talks / And the long walks and the color outside the lines / Put a little more space 'tween living and dying / For more of what money can't buy you." This sentiment can be felt time and time again throughout the album, resulting in one of Moakler's most cohesive sets of songs yet.
The gentle, acoustic track "Pack it Up" is another plain-spoken ode to being present in your everyday life. This time, Moakler turns his gaze to bigger milestones, like growing a family and moving houses.
With soft vocals, he sings about the changes he sees: "Little man's gettin' real fast / Big yard out back for him to run around / Little brother's gonna be here soon." The track rests easily at the intersection of bittersweet and sentimental.
If Make a Little Room sounds like dispatches from domestic life and long talks with the self, it's intentional. Moakler started working on the album during the pandemic when the whole world was turning inward.
Still, Moakler found ways to collaborate. He wrote these songs with numerous co-writers, including Luke Laird, Marcus Hummon, Stephanie Chapman and Neil Medley. The album's stand out collaboration is "Autumn Came Back," a duet with his co-writer Lucie Silvas that tells a familiar story of a love that comes and goes with the seasons.
Perhaps the most poignant moments of the album come towards the end, on the tracks "You Being You" and "Numbered." Moakler infuses both tracks with easy, mellow energy, but uses them to contemplate some of life's big wonders — like unconditional love and the bittersweet, fleeting quality of our lives.
Any fan of heartfelt, reflective story-songs should make a little room in their lives for Moakler's impressive new album.