Michael D - Things That Matter

Wednesday 1st December 1999
Michael D - Things That Matter
Michael D - Things That Matter

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Independent MM-9905

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

When it comes to independent releases it seems like rock/punk/ska/alternative bands are two-a penny, but when it comes to making a strong pop album, well that's a different matter. Brian Fuller has managed it with his latest release through the small Outback label, and now Michael D also delivers a solid pop album. That both men have chosen to mix in a little jazz into the equation might have something to do with it. Michael's release is keyboard driven and where he gets a little funky I love it! "Only One Way" is one such moment, and if you're searching for a bit of a gentle groove "Sit Tight" delivers and has some deftly-delivered guitar touches. "Turn It On" reminded me of the poppy end of Steely Dan and "I Commit To You" is built around a '70s style clavinet sound. On the font cover Michael may look like Michael Douglas but vocally, he's got plenty of blue-eyed soul with a bit of Bryan Duncan thrown in there when he lets loose. This album is nicely polished, and Michael and producer Eric Copeland have not been scared to introduce extra elements to broaden the sound. "I Am Always Listening" is a great example of a song that has piles of atmosphere and creativity whilst the ills of modern life are exposed on the mellower "Dying To Live". The title track finds Michael listing the important things in life to try and give us a new perspective. The closing track "What A Ride" adds another flavour as it's acoustic guitar driven but lyrically again, Michael seems to critique the culture around him and bring a spiritual perspective. Overall, here is a thoughtful songwriter with a great voice and the courage to take the time to make a polished pop album. Plenty here to encourage and inspire, challenge and enjoy.

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