Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
In this CD cover image released by Tight Natural Productions, the latest release by Stew & the Negro Problem, "Making It," is shown. (AP Photo/Tight Natural Productions)
Love’s lowlights highlighted on new CD
First Published Jan 26 2012 02:20 pm • Last Updated Jan 26 2012 02:20 pm

Stew & The Negro Problem, "Making It" (tnp)

"Making It" is a breakup album that gives voice to both sides of the story. Singing duties are shared by Mark Stewart (aka Stew) and Heidi Rodewald, an ex-couple responsible for the Tony Award-winning play "Passing Strange" who continue their creative collaboration with the band the Negro Problem.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

There’s lots of candor but no rancor as the couple contemplate heartache with humor rather than hostility. "Love is a great gig, but the pay is crap," Rodewald sings on "Love Is a Cult."

As usual, Stew mines a deep reserve of musical influences to frame his tunes in an engaging pop setting, with touches of jazz, rock, R&B and Broadway. The resulting blend is part Bacharach, part Magnetic Fields and all good.

"Making It" kicks off with a brief instrumental that sounds like the theme to a TV show. Then comes "Pretend," a paean for pop: "Songs are dumb, but they don’t lie," Stew sings. Later topics include methamphetamine ("Speed") and racial stereotypes ("Black Men Ski"), but the focus is on romance gone awry.

"Therapy Only Works If You Tell the Truth," one song title concludes, and the album’s highlight comes during dialogue to conclude that tune.

"When did you first notice there was a problem with the relationship?" a counselor asks.

"Oh, when she left me," Stew replies.

By the finale, "Treat Right," Stew and Rodewald have called a truce, and the album ends with them singing in harmony.

Check this track out: Stew offers a twist to he-said-she-said on "Curse," when he and Rodewald take turns singing the same lyrics. The song rhymes nurse, hearse, worse, converse, terse and purse with curse — all in one verse.

story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.