After a quick search on the website I realised I had reviewed a single by Michael Armstrong, ‘Radio Days’, which makes this debut album. This self-titled album has been available since last year via Amazon and the physical version is worth getting as you have the lyrics and a proper CD inlay sleeve to peruse over.
Hard to pick out the best moments as there are no fillers. ‘Johannesburg’ has a Steely Dan feel in the guitar solo, namely down to guest guitarist Elliott Randall of the aforementioned Steely Dan. ‘Innocence Of Men’ recalls the Eagles in their prime – you can almost feel the warm summer breeze coming through on the music. Albert Lee guests on this one adding his own classy solos to the proceedings.
Special mention about the string arrangements, mainly arranged by Simon Lockyer, that add to the songs creating a rich, deep wall of sound. Take ‘Mrs. Patterson’ the ELO sounding strings swoop and swirl nicely into the main melody.
Two choice covers in Billy Joel’s ‘Allentown’, which adds strings to the piano/vocals of Michael to good effect. The other cover is Wings’ ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ and it really suits the albums overall sound and feel.
Wonderfully crafted songs and looking forward to his second album which is due next year via Pledge Music. In the meantime do yourself a favour and download/buy a copy of this album, top quality pop/rock from start to finish. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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