Western Australia’s Andy Michaels recently dropped Revisited, a baker’s dozen of songs blending elements of soft rock, pop, soul, R&B, and quiet storm, a sound usually categorized as adult contemporary, full of lush melodies and dulcet harmonies.
For more than a decade, Michaels has been in the forefront of Australia’s music scene, performing throughout the country, as well as in China. His easy-to-listen-to sound may be heard on radio stations in England, Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
With a voice likened to Peter Gabriel, Keith Urban, Bryan Adams, Cat Stevens, and Rod Stewart, Michaels’ voice is elusively familiar. It’s a decent voice enhanced by the talents of Andy Court on backing vocals and keyboards, Sharon Court on backing vocals, and Kerrie Ironside on backing vocals.
The best song on the album is “Angel,” featuring the deliciously evocative voice of Ironside. The song combines components of folk, soft rock and a child’s lullaby into a melody simmering with bright pensive energy and flowing colors. Ironside’s rasping tones imbue the music with a gorgeously chafing effluvium that’s intensely passionate. Another strong tune is “Today’s Tomorrow,” which rides an upbeat alt-rock energy.
“Just Because You Love Someone” delivers a soft pop-rock essence, along with the tandem voices of Michaels and Ironside, whose tones provide a delightful chemistry. “When I Close My Eyes” rides a gentle pop-flavored folk tune upon which Michaels’ honeyed tenor moves with velvety, hushed timbres. The only flaw is the vocal harmonies that come across as appended and unoriginal.
“I Just Want to Be the One” comes across as Pink Floyd fronted by Justin Bieber doing a cover of “Eleanor Rigby,” backed by a choir. “I’ll Be Alright (Loving You)” emanates a Cat Stevens-like aura full of trembling keyboards and a drifting folk feel. The song is ruined by saccharine sentimental hues and the Alvin & The Chipmunk-sounding backing vocals at the end.
“Lucretia’s Eylandt” features Sharon Court’s beautiful voice traveling on an exotic Celtic-tinted tune that ascends to a fully developed pop radiance. It’s a good song; however, Court’s voice is almost too powerful, tending to overwhelm the music.
Revisited is betwixt and between, a mish-mash of good tunes with mediocre tunes. The melodies, lush to the point of opulent, would be better served with reduced flamboyance and grandiosity, especially the vocal harmonies, which too often reach levels of overcompensation.