Following in the footsteps of Dr. Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, Steve Weinstein proves again that physics and music go very well together. As a tenured professor and an affiliate of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, he does not fit the mold of a musician. However, he decided that it was time to temporarily stop pondering the secrets of the universe and go back to the enjoyable simplicity that is making music. After being inspired by The Clash at the Palladium, he has played at clubs like CBGB until he went back to school to get his doctorate.
The opener, “Lost And Found” immediately grabs the listener’s attention, as it’s a rock ballad about a love triangle with a Dire Straits meets The Boomtown Rats sound. “Centerline” has a slightly more Springsteen-esque melancholy to it, and Weinstein is joined by a female chorus, which adds depth. The title-track, “Last Free Man” was inspired by, when on a trip to England for a black hole conference, he saw several security cameras. This song adds to the album’s theme of the corrosive nature of surveillance and the unfair loss of privacy. Steve Weinstein even covered punk band Mission Of Burma’s “That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate” to emphasize this attitude, although he made it slower and more bluesy. The closer, “Throw It Away” tells a gloomy tale of society’s tradition of discarding people, comparing them to obsolete technology.
Last Free Man is very well done, and it shows that it was created by someone who has been around a while and has thought long and hard about life as we know it. Steve Weinstein makes it evident that he can just as easily conjecture physics as he can create pleasing music.