Michael Averill - I'd Rather Walk
Released May 10, 2013
By Dwayne Morgan
The crispy acoustic guitar of Golden Breeze grabs attention right away. The harmonies are great, but there is a bit of unpleasant distortion in the vocals, like they’re coming in too hot somewhere in the vocal chain or in the master buss. Regardless, Golden Breeze is sure to grab the attention of a variety of audiences.
The intro of the (I'm sure) Days Of The New influenced Get There In Time meanders a bit, but it is interesting how it goes from a Hawaiian opening slide, to a bluesy swagger, to a country sounding blues all before the song really starts. Once the tune kicks in, you just can’t help but think "Fuck yeah".
The bass sound for Play Your Heart Out had my ears doing a double take with it's glassy waterdop texture. The more I listened to it, the more I liked it. Found myself focused on it for most of the song, when part way through I realized the song itself was still going strong. There were two moments were I thought the song was coming to a close, which would have left me satisfied, but it kept going each time. It made the song feel longer than it needs to be. Some more dynamics in either the mix or instrumentation would have been beneficial.
Living Through My Eyes has definitely got that "Blackbird" feel, enough to know it's gotta be an influence, but not so much as to be a put off. I also love how short it is, it's kind of like a musical memo to a friend.
I’d Rather Walk, for a 7 minute song, didn't really feel that long, which is great. I like how the vocal kind of bounces with the guitar, makes it feel much more together than how I felt during Golden Breeze. The vocal harmonies sound like they would be great to hear live, where it might be played with more intensity. If Michael were to shop this song around for other artists to record, I'd send him straight to The Lion The Bear The Fox. I wonder if people still do that…
The guitar's bassline in Did You Know adds a jumpy, or hoppy, kind of break in the opening riff. The hands slapping against the lap is a nice touch as well. When I think about what I would want to change, nothing comes to mind. To quote the song "I wouldn't have it any other way".
Then there’s Sunshine and Shadows that had me thinking, where was this for the rest of the album?! It sounds fucking great, but it's stuck to the end of the record. The piano has a rainy day melancholy feeling to it that reminds me of Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue album. I thought the hard 'R's were a little too ear catching. Should've ended it at the 4 minute mark though, and put the water sounds earlier in the song. The way the vocals come in after the soft fade, of what I thought was the end, sounds kind of piercing in context and shook me out of the vibe I was feeling to that point. Beautiful song.
With Shall We Dream, I was thrilled; A guest vocalist! I wish this song was earlier in the album too, would make it much easier to listen to all the way through. It's already easy to listen to, but it would have much it more enjoyable. Jen Miller's vocal sits well with Michael's voice, adding a refreshingly new element to the album as a whole. The song is also nice and short, and leaves me satisfied.
Overall a good album, and well worth the listen.