понедельник, 25 марта 2013 г.

Michael Stanley - The Hand (2012 Line Level Music)

Band/Artist: Michael Stanley
Album: The Hand
Label: Line Level Music, ltd.
Catalog#: LL 207
Release: 2012
Country: US
Genre: Rock, Pop-Rock
Duration: 01:11:15

One cannot help but be in awe of the ease with which Michael Stanley dishes out reflective musical statements every time he puts out a record. As with most of his albums, “The Hang” offers a captivating stroll through heartfelt tunes accompanied by some of the best song-writing he has done in years.
Top filled with brawny heartland rockers, “The Hang” has plenty to offer. When one manages through the somewhat flat opener “From Somewhere Else” there’s a healthy dose of heart driven, impeccably crafted music to tuck into. Indeed, Michael Stanley sounds a wise and settled man, although still evidently flustered when pouring his heart out on numbers like the yearning “The Last Great Illusion”. Accordingly, “The Hang” feels natural and unforced in every way, offering a perfect balance between well constructed rockers and introspective ballads, speaking of which, they as usual fit Michael’s voice and interpretation perfectly. Almost effortlessly he draws emotion filled landscapes with “Another New Years Eve” and “Fait Accompli”, whereas on “When It Don’t Come Easy” he adds extra weight with down to earth lyrics channelled through true to life singing. In any case he’s a master story teller, blessed with a comforting effect of incalculable value. He turns out to be particularly effective when tackling Dire Straits’ “Romeo & Juliet”, which he serves beautifully wrapped in silky country rock sheets. A true knockout.
“The Hang” starts cranking up the boost with “A Damn Fine Way To Go”, instantly uncovering the long known fact that Michael Stanley handles like Maradona with gritty rock settings. The change of mood is further emphasised with “Down In The Suck”, a sturdy effort highlighted by a searing guitar solo. Stanley turns out some extra candy for the punters when “Back in the Day” rips through like a long forgotten Bruce Springsteen anthem, just begging to be crammed into some sort of spectacular stadium rock repertoire.
Upgrading simple yet highly contagious tunes and arrangements with a broad, populist appeal, “The Hang” is another Michael Stanley lesson in presenting accessible music perched on an easily reflective human touch. Although this might seem to have little effect on “The Hang” eventually selling in millions (which undoubtedly it would deserve), there is no mistaking the fact that this is another seminal piece of work from Michael Stanley.
                                                                                                          - Review by Daniel Pavlica

 • Tracklist:

01. From Somewhere Else 04:05
02. The Last Great Illusion 04:40
03. How Many Guitars Do You Need 05:18
04. Breaking Down 04:54
05. When It Don't Come Easy 04:38
06. Fait Accompli 04:58
07. A Damn Fine Way To Go 04:48
08. Wonder Wheel 05:00
09. Down In the Day 05:22
10. Back In the Day 04:32
11. Martha 05:11
12. Romeo & Juliet 06:52
13. Another New Years Eve 05:33
14. The Hang 04:04

Michael Stanley - Vocals, Guitar
Bob Pelander - Keyboards
Bobby Latina, Rodney Psyka - Percussion
Marc Lee Shannon, Paul Christensen - Saxophone
Tommy Dobeck - Drums
Jennifer Lee - Vocals
Danny Powers - Guitar

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