Steve Hofmeyr - Solitary Man

2009-07-03 07:44
Solitary Man: The Songs of Neil Diamond

Was Steve’s pain really our gain?

This is his third (English) outing in Coverland, coming after an enjoyable nod to Kris Kristofferson and his first, commercially successful, collection of Diamond songs, Beautiful Night.

Thankfully, his latest tribute isn’t marred by the awful production values of recent “Afrikaans market” releases, but it’s beyond this hurdle that a personality clash arises. Hofmeyr’s love for his idol is very real and often, very effective. But the lighter, up-tempo side of Diamond’s catalogue doesn’t resonate nearly as well as hoped with Hofmeyr’s gravelly – perhaps weary – voice. Rarely, only rarely, as on the gospel-flavoured “Thank You For The Night Time”, does Hofmeyr get as caught up in the excitement as he should.

Searching for the real Steve Hofmeyr in “Sweet Caroline” is looking in the wrong place, however. It’s in Diamond’s slower, more deliberate reflections on life and love lost and found that Steve regains his charm. We needn’t struggle, on this performance, in casting him as a “Solitary Man”. Chest out, the popster asserts both emotional independence and his license to interpret the anthems of his favourite New Yorker. The wounded pride melts into nostalgia with “If You Know What I Mean”, as Hofmeyr belts out a melody of remembered love with more than a little familiarity.

We can only speculate how much personal grief Steve has poured into his idol’s mould, but there seems to be more than enough to go round. One side of the album, the darker, more vulnerable face of it, appears to have drawn some strength from that. This is what we do, after all, when we are down. We turn to old stories and metaphors, things our heroes taught us, and remembering them try to get back up again. The songs of Neil Diamond have (again) given Hofmeyr a solid, but imperfect, collection to please his fans, but he may have gotten something he needed more: the songs he needed to hear.

A settled, happy existence can reduce the cholesterol in your blood but also, if you’re an artist, the music. We see it again and again – break-ups make better tunes than make-ups. So, fresh from a messy divorce with his wife of 10 years, Steve Hofmeyr gets back in the saddle not with a moping confessional of his own, but with a career-second ode to Neil Diamond.

What to read next: Steve sings Kris Kristofferson
Read more on:    neil diamond  |  steve hofmeyr

Wilma 2009/06/30 11:28 AM
You all are jealous!!!! Steve you are still the best and will forever stay the best!!! Love your music.
Wilma 2009/06/30 11:29 AM
You all are jealous!!!! Steve you are still the best and will forever stay the best!!! Love your music.
yacine 2009/06/30 1:48 PM
hi i love you
anna 2009/06/30 2:03 PM
Steve is number one and always will be
preshen govender 2009/06/30 3:14 PM
The angle of death visitor Vernon koekemoer and said that he is on a mission to kill only talented singers.For example Luciano Pavarotti ,Lebo Mathosa, Lucky Dube, Micheal Jackson..Then Vernon said : “Ag nie that means Steven Hofmeyr is going to live forever !!!”
Hendrik 2009/06/30 3:45 PM
Steve dankie vir als wat jy ingesit het vir musiek, Afrikaans, Pretoria ...maar na als...nee dankie!
Nicolene 2009/06/30 4:03 PM
Steve jy is nog steeds no 1 in Suid Afrika. Jy het geval en en jy het opgestaan en jy het n wonderlike persoonlikheid. Daar gaan die bitterbekke wees maar wie gee om jou aanhangers is mal oor jou stout persoonlikheid en jy kan sing!!!!!!!!
Martin 2009/06/30 5:27 PM
Ek bieg - ek kan die drol nie vat nie. Alles waaraan hy raak ontwikkel in stront. Sy musiek is kak, sy verhoudings is kak, sy persoonlikheid is kak, sy publieke figuur is kak, sy emosionele toestand is kak.
Hennie 2009/06/30 7:16 PM
Steve Hofmeyr for President !!!!
Bit-chi 2009/06/30 11:06 PM
Those who are demeaning towards Steve, obviously knows nothing about him. Are you successful and can claim fully booked arenas? No obviously not. Empty tins making a lot of noise. By the negative writing you place you just show your own insecurities.
Vanessa 2009/07/01 10:48 AM
Steve who?????? He is so 2000 and late!
Franco 2009/07/01 12:32 PM
Oh brother, when will he ever get off this Neil Diamond trip. Seems like this is the only music he can perform...
Karen 2009/07/01 1:09 PM
AG SHAME! Moet ons nou die PAMPOEN jammer kry vir die gevolge van al sy LOSGULPERY. Nou probeer hy publisiteit kry. Talent? HA! HA! nie eers sy eie "songs" nie.
Mr.Ryan 2009/07/01 2:18 PM
Hi Steve Ek doen nie wat jy doen nie maar verstaan wat jy doen, en wonder soms hoe die mense motivering van Picasso nie kan versoen. Lol
AS 2009/07/01 2:43 PM
If this repeat of Neil Diamond "treffers" is not the height of boredom and lack of creativity I don't know what is. His divorce must have cost him more than we know to make him so desperate to sell something.
francois 2009/07/01 3:22 PM
ai ou los gulpie....ons sal die regte neil diamond koop as ons wil neil diamond luister. gaan mos nou nie n jurie els version van jou songs koop nie. skryf liewers n boek......baie bitter soet ..of so iets.....
Beverley 2009/07/15 6:35 AM
Just as well Neil Diamond is still alive!! Or he'd be turning in his grave....My husband bought me the first album as a birthday gift, he know I LOVE Neil Diamond, however, he should have saved his money instead. NO ONE DOES NEIL DIAMOND LIKE NEIL DIAMOND HIMSELF..........Steve, be original, do your own stuff............Leave Neil Diamond alone man...........btw.....loved your EX ball & chains book BITTERSWEET. Pure brilliance. One thing she should thank you for though, you gave her such an interesting and varied script to write. Lekker dag ou gulpie...............
BEV 2009/07/15 6:38 AM
Lourista de Jongh 2009/08/17 4:21 PM
Steve, ek het onlangs jou nuwe CD Solitary Man - Neil Diamond gekoop. Lieflike stem, lieflike musiek. Ek hou baie daarvan. Jou persoonlike lewe het NIKS met niemand uit te waai nie. Ek is self ook 'n vrou, maar die sogenaamde "vrouens" het mos geweet waarin hul hul inlaat, of was hul dan so dom??? It take 2 to tango!!!!!! Ek sê altyd: "Steve kan enigiemand se stem namaak, maar NIEMAND kan sy stem namaak nie." As dit nie iets vir iemand sê van jou sangloopbaan nie, dan ken daardie persoon duidelik nie musiek nie. Jy het 'n talent van ons Heerser ontvang, moenie ophou om dit te gebruik nie. Wanneer hou jy weer 'n "show" in Worcester, Kaap Provinsie?
Marissa 2009/09/28 2:02 PM
Uhm Niel, perhaps better to check your facts before doing a review...the first Niel Diamond tribute by Steve was called "Beautiful Noise", not "night". It's the title track... Steve forever, loved last week's Solitary Man show, as always, you're the best. Have been for 20years since I started going to your shows. No competition for you in SA mate, keep it up! x
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