Artist: Michael Tracy
Album: Gonna Smile
Charlotte, NC rock artist Michael Tracy is no stranger to success. Since his inception on 2011 with his debut album, Tracy has earned some live spots with the likes of Styx, Foreigner, George Thorogood, Don Felder, Jefferson Starship, Dokken, & Zach Meyers (Shinedown).
In the veins of The Clash and Cage The Elephant, “Old Paperback Novels” kick off this exciting album full of catchy guitar melodies that sort of sets the tone of the rest of the album. “Enough Small Talk” starts with this awesome bass line and follows with this really angst lyrics, an awesome guitar solo and Michael’s flawless vocals that stands out and don’t get overshadowed by the music.
“Fashion and Fame” is a social commentary on the power the likes of politician and celebrities get by stealing and taking advantage of the weak and poor. In addition, it has this really cool Foo Fighters and Rise Against vibe that makes this such a well crafted, strong song with “Red Sky” working as an excellent sequel.
As you listen the rest album, a great appreciation and love for the album and Michael Tracy grows in you and you can help but just get lost on the music, the arrangements and the fact that every song it’s different to the other makes this such an eclectic and interesting record. There’s really nothing negative I can say about this album. The production work and the instrument executions are perfect. Michael Tracy really owns every song on this album, while so many rock musicians nowadays focus more on the catchy sounds to attract people, you see he did that and more, he make sure he didn’t get lost in the music and you really believe what he’s singing, when his angry like in the first three tracks or when he’s happy.
If I have to list my three favorite singles it will be “Fashion and Fame”, “Ever Old Ever New” and “Devil Dancing”.
Overall, this is an album that you rarely get to listen in modern days where the industry is focused more on making money. Thank God we have people like Michael Tracy that gives a damn and keep it real, so to speak. Another thing I did found interesting and not sure if this was me – I’ve noticed how many great acts in the scene these days, those that are in for the music and has a passion and stay true to the genre they have chose to play, are influenced by not today’s music but they seem to look for inspiration in the early bands. In the case of Gonna Smile (and not saying this in a negative way at all), had a quality and arrangements that if I wasn’t told it was recently released, I would have thought this is an old album from the late 70s/early 80s. This is something I’ve realized many acts been doing lately, which I personally think it’s really cool bands and artists like Michael not only look for inspiration of these acts but unconsciously (or perhaps, consciously) try to “emulate” the vibe and quality of those records. Anyways, intended or not, this is an album that you most buy and will fell in love with immediately.
By RJ Frometa