There really is no one else like Dan Michaelson. He writes intensely beautiful songs about love and romance, with an eye for recondite detail and an ability to make catching lyrics that just take my breath away. The number of time I listen to one of his songs and think `actually, yes, love is just like that' is beyond counting.
This is a slowish album, centre stage is Michaelson's sublime lyrics delivered in his slow, slightly craggy, ever so expressive voice. It's as though he puts his whole heart into every word he delivers. The backing group are just perfect, delivering slow shuffly beats, accentuating and supporting his vocals and always seeming to know just what note is required where. The backing is understated, and at times it seems as though the notes that aren't played are as important as the ones that are.
At this point in a review I would usually say `recommended to fans of...' and draw some comparisons, but I honestly cannot think of anyone who bears comparison with Michaelson's beautiful work. The best I can do is `for fans of early Leonard Cohen, but sparser, gloomier and much more British'.
This is Michaelson's third solo release, I would also recommend his previous albums `Saltwater' and `Shakes' unreservedly. Also check out his earlier work with Absentee.
on 7 November 2011
His voice is like sweet treacle being poured over a set of warm cogs; the instruments are at times arresting, but mostly hypnotic. You start off with the album playing whilst you work or surf the net, then within a couple of tracks you just end up listening to it. It's like a pebble beach on a perfectly still November evening, the swoosh & hiss of the waves and view to die for.
The lyrics speak of love and contentment being just out of reach, as if things were nearly perfect but slipped into loss and longing, and the themes of commitment and loyalty run through it like a vein of metal.
That's enough metaphors, I love his work but this album is the first I've bought for someone else, it's no longer music for the Dan Michaelson initiate, I reckon it's time my friends discovered him too.