by Dave Leigh
The problem with reviewing Mike Lombardo's "Songs For A New Day" is that I can sum up the entire review in three sentences: Mike Lombardo is the kind of musician I wish I was. He's driven, motivated, and supremely talented. Buy this album, you won't regret it.
One of the things I like about Mike is he's not a one-trick pony. I really don't want to say that Mike is producing any particular kind of music, since I think that would be doing him a disservice. He's just creating music, and letting each song go where the concept will take it. Too often with 'Internet musicians', you find that they do one thing pretty well, and that's the one thing they do... always. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a 'sound', but you've got to be able to provide a little variety. I like a musician who can have an idea and say, "This needs to be gospel", or "This one needs to be jazz". Mike can do that. He easily goes from a driving rhythms of "Abby Never" to the soft ballad "I'm Right Here", to the 1940s film-noir sounds of "This Time Tomorrow". The songs themselves are all excellent. Out of ten tracks, I really like nine (and don't dislike the tenth, it's just not as well-developed). That's a better track record than most artists have for me. The lyrics are generally smart and well thought out. Mike is still growing into his voice... his vocals are much better than they were a year ago, and it's very clear they'll be better still a year from now. In particular, I want to hear "This Time Tomorrow" again after Mike's voice has acquired the patina of age. I can say this... Mike Lombardo's going to be around and writing great music for a long time, and you ain't heard nothin' yet. Get this album now and you'll be the one telling your friends about the early work of this up-and-comer when the rest of the world belatedly 'discovers' him in a few years.
The nice thing about 'new model' music is that you don't have to take my word for any of this. Go to http://mikelombardo.bandcamp.com and listen to all the songs yourself. I honestly have a very hard time pointing to any specific song on this album and saying, "this is my favorite," but I'm going to do it anyway. "Don't Blame Me" stands out for me, as I'm a long-time Billy Joel fan, and this particular number actually feels like something that Joel himself could have written in his "angry young man" early days. It's also worth noting that my wife likes "Colby's Song" so much that she can't listen to it very often: when she does, she bursts into tears and becomes an emotional pretzel for the next hour or so. Now that's art.
You can order "Songs For A New Day" for $12 on CD from DFTBA Records. But wait! That's not all! You also get a second BONUS album, "The Fordham Sessions", which includes an additional ten remastered tracks of previously released material plus an additional new track. If you don't feel the need for the physical disks, then Mike's Bandcamp page offers "Songs For A New Day" for direct download for $9.99 ("The Fordham Sessions" are a separate $2.99 download). This is absolutely worth the price, no matter what format you choose.
- I really love it when I get people like Dave Leigh, Sammy Kablam, Travis Norris & Mike Lombardo to review music here. They bring a lot more to the table as reviewers then I can, and it's much appreciated. Please go show Mike some love by visiting his BandCamp page, and giving his music a chance. One listen, and you'll probably have to keep listening. Also go thank Dave for his review if you enjoyed it. You can find him on Twitter (@leighdf) & he has a blog of his own: http://music.cratchit.org/.
Monday, June 21, 2010
by Dave Leigh