02 April 2007 (released)
31 March 2007
Norwich’s Michael Bailey’s second solo album is a nine-track melodic blend of heart-strung vocals in the vein of Damien Rice, Radiohead or a less mental PJ Harvey, held together with Bailey’s clear instrumental ability.
He picks up guitar, piano and glockenspiel effortlessly but his voice could be the instrument that really stands out.
about that dream of yours defies Bailey’s gentle nature, showing an empathy for inner turmoil that’s delivered eerily, with impressive confidence.
He describes his music as: 'a sweet morning bird sitting in a tree, singing in a way that wakes you up. makes you think. makes you realise that things aren't always either as important or as upsetting as you may believe. or that things truly can't get any worse. but always at a level that evokes a response. be it positive or not. but in no way pretentious obviously.'
Bailey has a natural catch in his voice which I find particularly appealing, managing to sound either like someone from Norwich, OR someone from deepest darkest mid-West America in parts. Go figure.
As one who simultaneously hates comparisons yet always fails to avoid them there are times when Bailey sounds like Michael Stipe singing Nick Cave. In fact there’re bits of everyone in here, with elements of Johnny Cash, The Cure, Soul Asylum, Jeff Buckley, a whole lot of Thom Yorke.
His backing band of Alex Wilson on bass and percussionist Dan Reynolds are employed on an ad hoc basis - 'used & abused', according to Bailey’s self-deprecating Myspace entry. But the pair do justice to Bailey’s work.
This is an emotive album, but the power with which it is conveyed prevents any sympathy though, for this record is anything but schmolstzy, if that is even a word.
'Falling in love with Rusalka’ will be a hit before long. Others will follow. You heard it here first.