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Neil, Mick: Shades of the Day

The photograph on the back of Mick Neil's first CD, featuring the multi-instrumentalist sitting cross-legged on a picnic blanket looking pensively and staring into the distance, is -- in a word -- misleading. Shades of the Day is not some sappy soft-rock album, as that image suggests, but rather a highly melodic and well-paced instrumental-rock record written, performed and produced solely by the American musician. Neil plays a seven-string guitar, which gives Shades of the Day added tone and dimension more than anything else. But thankfully, this isn't a shredfest. For example, boiling riffs melt with a bubbling undercurrent of fluid fretwork on "Claim Station," and "Friday Night" rocks and chugs and grooves just as much as that simple title implies. Elsewhere, quiet and more lyrical pieces, such as "What You Made Me," "Manda" and the title track invoke what are no doubt influences that stem back to Eighties commercial rock. That said, this Neil ain't Neal Schon. (But who is, really?) Rather, Shades of the Day is a competent retro-sounding record made by a player who shows plenty of promise. As far as do-it-yourself debuts go, this will do just fine.

Track Listing:
1) Lift Off
2) Highway Drive
3) Claim Station
4) The Last Goodbye
5) What You Made Me
6) Break Free
7) Manda
8) Friday Night
9) Quest for the Astral Plane
10) Rude Awakening
11) Shades of the Day
12) I Never Forgot

Added: April 11th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Mick Neil Web Site
Hits: 3040
Language: english

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