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Stanley; Michael: Just Another Night

Just what have I been missing out on? Well judging by this 25th studio album by Michael Stanley the answer to that question is a great deal! Any artist who manages to reach their fourth decade in the music business and racks up an amazing quarter of a century of albums must be doing something right and for proof, just check out the wonderful Just Another Night.

Stanley specialises in rocked up blues Americana in the vibe of Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne, with a touch of Bob Seger rock thrown in for good measure. There may in the grand scheme of things be a lot of singer songwriters operating in this sphere, but few do it anywhere close to the standard of those already mentioned, but it is to Stanley's credit that he certainly falls into the bracket of those that can. In fact with the right exposure Just Another Night could be absolutely huge. The album opening title track is one of those songs that right from the get go feels familiar and has you singing along with the mid tempo, but still rocking Springsteen vibe. Stanley has a wonderful, rich voice that immediately draws you into the songs and with sensitive, yet politically astute lyrics, that vocal delivery isn't wasted on throwaway forget them in a minute words. Satisfyingly the standard never drops from there, with the mood and feel being expertly manipulated to help you really settle into this CD as a continuous listen, even when the songs have no trouble standing up for themselves. Across the album the themes of people's hopes, dreams, passion and pain for America is explored both lyrically and musically, with the wonderfully arranged "Tupelo Rain" where the simple keyboard line and guitar motifs criss-cross each other to fantastic effect, or the dance along of "Pay Me Now" which sounds more like a song from the pen of Little Steven with the piano and brass adding to the good time feel, both being great examples of songs that wrap up a more serious lyric in some infectious upbeat rock and roll. Of the more introspective tracks the largely instrumental "Winter" really hits the mark, along with the keyboard and vocal only hidden song "Do Not Stand At My Grave And Cry", which really is a wonderful, moving end to the album.

Just Another Night is a fantastic collection of heartfelt music that is both moving and uplifting and never less than engrossing and captivating. Judging by that extensive back catalogue, looks like I have a lot of catching up to do!

Track Listing
1. Just Another Night in America
2. Lap Dogs Dance
3. Tupelo Rain
4. Throwing Shadows
5. Did Somebody Order a Heartache
6. Any Time I Try
7. Somebody Do Something
8. The Only Time That Matters
9. Pay Me Now
10. Angelina
11. The Real Thing
12. Kensington Place
13. Winter
14. Don't Stand at My Grave and Weep

Added: April 23rd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: It's About Music Records
Hits: 1868
Language: english

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