[twitter style=”vertical” float=”left”] [fbshare type=”button”] [google_plusone size=”standard” annotation=”none” language=”English (UK)”] The first thing that comes to mind when listening to Mike Moss, is that he belongs to the distinguished category of singer-songwriters. Which may seem a trivial detail for any first impression, but it’s not.
Singer-songwriters are defined as musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. They often provide the accompaniment, typically using a guitar or piano. While the compositions are angled toward topical issues—sometimes political, sometimes introspective, sensitive, romantic, and confessional.
The key factor about singer-songwriters is that they go beyond musical genres.
When you think of legendaries like Dan Fogelberg, Warren Zevon or even James Taylor. You never think of what type of music they play or try to box them into a specific category. They’re just music makers, full-stop. Much like Mike Moss.
Mike Moss is an artist from Greater Manchester, but he could so easily be from Nashville or Detroit for that matter. His music draws from the best traditional inspirations to modern Brit pop arrangements.
The album “Cold World Plastic Dream” opens with “It’s Time”. A modern pop arrangement in The Muse style, where Mike dresses up his translucent vocals. The voice similiarity to Matthew Bellamy is extremely tangible. The track nicely sets the pace and mood for the rest of the album.
“Drop In The Ocean” could come straight off a Savage Garden album. The similar nuances to Darren Hayes’s beautiful diction and deliverance, proves, that for starters Mike Moss can sing with the best of them.
With “Morning Call”, Mike sails his sound across the Atlantic, with a typical chart-topping Nashville Alt.-Country arrangement.
The album takes another sharp turn with the piano-driven “Lies”. Mike takes our hearts on a tear-jearking, balladeering jaunt down confessional lane.
On “Emotion Machine” he delves into the rock archives, digging up the famous U2 sounding guitar and drum riff, and drives it over an 80’s rhythm arrangement. All classically topped off with the crystal cut Mike Moss vocals. He dishes up another nostalgic serving of the same on “Higher You Climb”.
In between the abovementioned tracks, he slows it down with the piano ballad, “Be The Way”. If you like Jackson Browne, you’ll love this track.
“Drifter has Celtic undertones and influences, while “Too Early For This” takes him back across the Atlantic, to the mid-tempo Americana sound mix.
The final two tracks are arguably the best on the entire album. They capture the essence of Mike Moss’ powerfully expressive voice, his colorful lyrics and the beautiful melodies of his songs. They are both unplugged versions of “Be The Way” and “Morning Call”. The simple guitar and voice arrangements, knock away the gimmicks and display the essential talent of the artist that is Mike Moss.
In particular, “Be The Way” (unplugged) is my absolute favourite on the album. The song, in this acoustic guitar style, is remiscent of Chicago born, Richard Marx’s works, who during the late 80’s and early 90’s had a string of hits. Including the phenomenal smash “Now and Forever”.
I would define Mike Moss as a modern day troubadour. He spins his stories and weaves his tales with a perfectly etched, quartz voice. His music is both retro and modern, containing a certain nostalgic component, which adult oriented music lovers will adore.
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I am almost certain that “Cold World Plastic Dream”,the culmination of a year’s work and a steady stream of contributing musicians, including Mikey Wilson (ex-Texas and Dust Junkies drummer) is just the starting point for Mike.
He has proved with this album that he can truly sing and write musical melodies, by putting together a collection of songs that fit his voice like a glove.
But I am most curious to see in the years ahead, as he matures musically, or maybe due to commercial aspirations, where his talents eventually will take him.
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