Thursday, February 15, 2024

Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues By Michael Whalen


Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues


Michael Whalen

Written by

Steve Sheppard


To say Michael Whalen is on a roll lately would be vastly under rating his supreme successes, none more so than with his amazing last chart topping album Walk In Beauty, Like The Night. Whalen is literally on fire musically, so here he is back again, but with another little slice of his musical self to offer up, and this one is entitled Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues.

The opening piece is full of excitement and energy and called So Far From Home, and this track speaks for me entirely, when I found myself in Jamaica in 2004, that kind of vibrant Caribbean, Latin styled energy is well within the mix of this most effervescent opening offering.

We can follow that up quickly with a funky little number entitled Shorty's In Love; this so much reminds me of Stevie Wonder in the days of Sir Duke, the incredibly stylish keyboards here from Whalen just show what an amazingly accomplished music he is.

It’s time for the title track and that of course is Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues, this classic Jazzy blues number takes me back solidly to the 70’s, that funky synth and vibrant beat could so easily have been heard on shows like Starsky and Hutch back in the day. This one is almost a crossover of funk and progressive rock, and it’s delicious refrains will live forever in this old musical heart, in the same way as Soft Machine did back in the early ‘70’s; a song like Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues should garner a standing ovation in a live set.

The more piano orientated First Light is up next, and this gentle melody and catchy chorus would not be out of place on a TV sitcom like Cheers back in the day, but here Whalen brings an element of warmth in this wonderfully fluent and charming opus.

This is one of those albums that you might want to remember to breathe whilst listening to, as it’s so very easy to get caught up with its exciting energies, speaking of which, take a listen to this thoughtful yet ever onward song entitled The Sweet, Sweet Rain. This composition is another anthem styled manifestation that would go down really well, as the credits of a Hollywood movie rolled downward upon the big screen.

So we can now take a step into the latter half of the album and as we do so we come across one of the more chilled offerings from the album called My Autumn Heart. The mood is set perfectly for this reflective piece; the Jazzy keyboards, and also while we are here, let’s just remind you that every note, every piece of instrumentation within this album has been lovingly manifested by Whalen himself, this track for me is a highlight among many, it’s an amalgamation of moody brilliance.

Now while Cairo is literally just a short flight for me, I have yet to visit its favourable vibrations, here on Cairo Blues, Michael has manifested a piece where I and others can take that journey vicariously through the energies of this most danceable offering. The clever keyboard work here does indeed illustrate perfectly the mood and vibrancy of that region, one that we can wave to over the Mediterranean Sea from my vantage point.

We are now deep within the weave of the album, and as we drift along in the sublime tones of another great release, we come across one of my personal favourites from the album entitled Dance Of The Morning, this piece is so smooth one could slide across the polished nature of the track with ease, the chord changes and structures are utterly beautifully and wonderfully crafted, this is one of those pieces that I truly believe would make an excellent single.

Well we have arrived at the portal to our penultimate piece and this one is a funkster of an offering, Ok I have made up a new word, but I think after all these years I am entitled! Whalen’s synths and keyboard magic, and his extremely well crafted percussion, gift us a true fun piece to bliss out on called All That You Dream, and perhaps even taking us back to the late ‘80’s whilst doing so.

So it’s time to creak open the final present to this new album and we leave the project with an emotive offering called A Million Miles From My Heart. This heart felt piece is a beautiful parting gift from the artist; one that is deeply melodic and emotionally powerful, in a similar way with which REO Speedwaggon was back in the day.

Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues by Michael Whalen is a sprightly collection of eclectic brilliance by the artist; there literally is something for ever one here on this colourful album. The production of anything Whalen touches is of the highest quality, and if you haven’t heard this instrumentalist before I would truly urge you to do so at all costs, as each and every one who listens to this album will find something musical meant for them wrapped up inside, this one is sure to be another huge mega hit for the artist.

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