All Washed Up
This is Michael's second CD. More terse and advanced, the 11 songs display the talent of a multi-instrumentalist songwriter who has become his own John, Paul and George. John: the acoustic guitar bedrocks all songs with an atmospheric shade that offers a common DNA strand throughout the varied song styles. Paul: the bass lines are written after hours and hours and hours of playing to just the acoustic and drums. This reductive process result in an organic cohesion that allows one to 'feel' more than just 'hear' the bass. George: the electric guitars are laced in after vocals/acoustic guitar/bass are in place. The lead lines play to the song and underwrite the groove -- subtlety instead of swagger here. The vocals are delivered by an original voice. At first take the singing is perhaps a bit right-fieldish, but after a fourth listen or so (just when an American Idol voice would be turning to taffy drivel) an intimacy is established. What was once oblique is now part of a tight complex lyric; what was once a wavering note is now an emotional sail pulling away from the Gilligan's Island of L.A. and Nashville commercialism; what once seemed loopy now compels like a woman who goes unnoticed at first glance because of no make-up, but, upon closer inspection, her incredible skin becomes all the more so because of it's unadorned exposition.