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Review: Andy Michaels “Revisited” by Edmund Barker

In some of the songs from Revisited, the new record from singer-songwriter Andy Michaels, an attentive listener can hear pieces of Midnight Oil. This makes sense, as Andy is an Aussie with a raspy, willowy voice similar to Peter Garrett’s, especially on the album’s early ballad “Just Because You Love Someone.” In other instances, Michaels’ singing reminded me a bit of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe—who, as with Garrett, has an unconventional and throaty voice that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but which has a strong emotional sincerity. (Apparently, Michaels has mused in interviews about being compared to different alt rock bands with each new release. I humbly add to the list Midnight Oil and R.E.M.) One reason for the number of these comparisons is that Andy Michaels’ music flirts with multiple genres, while staying mostly rooted in an easy listening sound of jangly acoustic pop.

Revisited starts energetically with “Today’s Tomorrow,” one of the more poppy tracks on the album. It has a simple acoustic hook at its core like many other songs on the record, but adds in tinkling synths and a charming electronic beat. It’s a different pace from the laid-back chill of most of Revisited, but not as much of a change as “I Just Want to Be the One”, the album’s other go at a dance track. While I appreciate Michaels’ willingness to try different genres, the song is let down a bit by out of place Autotune, though it does pick up again with a Peter Gabriel-like backing chorus at the end. The record feels at its most comfortable when it’s in a world of chilled-out acoustic pop, conjuring the mood of lazy summer afternoons and nostalgia. “I’ll Be Alright (Loving You)” is a good example of this, throwing in light symphonic touches and having Michaels duet with a haunting female voice (I thought it might be Kerrie Ironside, who features on two other songs, but it doesn’t sound like her and she isn’t on that track). “Where Are You Now” is a similarly tender and touching song, one with some of the strongest lyrics on the album. Repeat listens to it made me appreciate its somber take on grief and loss in the family. “Back to Me” is a song that changes the album’s mood again, with a slow, deliberate beat and moody strings giving it a darker atmosphere, always a plus. Michaels’ sound of adult-contemporary acoustic hooks with electronic touches reminds me of later-period A-ha, something that he’s got in his favor. For fans of sincere and sweet soft rock a la Phil Collins, Revisited is worth a look at.

3/5 stars

Social media links are

https://www.instagram.com/andymichaelsmusic/

https://twitter.com/AndysMusicCo

https://www.facebook.com/andymichaelsmusicpage/

And Youtube videos

https://youtu.be/aI311P67fMw    Where are you Now
https://youtu.be/NZbJ3n-FPko    Angel
https://youtu.be/9EZp4gEhi_g    Just Because You Love Someone
https://youtu.be/6JrTkbXJAU0    White Lies
https://youtu.be/FI_0GBAEqUM  I just Want to be the One

 

 

 

 

 

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