Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Loose Ends (Mike Gibbons)

Mike Gibbons, the California based singer/songwriter is a quirky, fast paced lyricist with catchy pop-instrumentation to support his writing, and a face that could place him as Dane Cooks’ stunt double. At first listen I was quickly reminded of the pop-rock jam band, Pseudopod. So any Pseudopod fans will easily join the Gibbons bandwagon.

Notable tracks are Mason Jar Dreams, a soulish tune that you’d swear was straight out of Mississippi. Its a foot-stompin’/twangy tune to please. Chained to Change slows things down a bit in a sound that I feel fits Gibbons the best. It’s an acoustic pop-ballad tune accompanied by cello. Gibbons’ vocals really work well in this lower register tune.

This Won’t Define Me is probably his strongest song considering both lyrics and instrumentation. The whole package is here. A driving 4 on the floor kick drum pulses and drives the intensity. The guitar work dances via atmospheric sounds interplaying with one another. Loose Ends, the title track, also graces the ear (possibly too late in the album) with a more tribal percussive beat and strings galore.

Gibbons’ instrumentation is at times poppy, other times from the deep south, and at other times atmospheric, much like a Pete Yorn or Ryan Adams ballad. It’s obviously a solo artist album though. His vocals soar above the instruments, unfortunately not as tightly mixed as I would have preferred – unlike a band album, it rides the line of adult contemporary pop. I have to give major props to the band and instrumental production.

All in all, there is some solid writing and graces with great influences in his writing.

RATING: 3 of 5 stars

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