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Ian, Mike: The Learning Tree

Mike Ian is a multi-instrumentalist hailing from New Jersey. He has been making music for a number of years, dabbling in a number of genres, from country, to orchestral, to jazz fusion. In 2010 he released his first pop/rock related album titled Puzzle Pieces and twelve years later he has decided to return to the rock genre with his 2022 effort titled The Learning Tree.

The album was recorded in Mike’s own Eyeball Studios in New Jersey and released on his label Voidfree Records. Mike plays everything himself and sought his friend Troy Raleigh to lend a hand penning some of the lyrics. This is truly a labor of love.

The album reads life an adventure through one’s life beginning with the opening track “A Pirate’s Dream”. Hand drums, acoustic guitar, and wonderful vocals begin the piece, I hear a bit of Styx here, before the chorus bursts with orchestral bombast. Everything is so tastefully done, from the guitar work to the excellent vocal arrangement. Next is “Happily Ever After”, a fine ballad with a bit of sad reflection in the lyrics. More excellent guitar and orchestrations. The melodic “Cast In Stone” has some nice proggy touches and more outstanding guitar work. The fine vocal arrangement warrants special mention. “Hereafter” is a fine slice of melodic rock music highlighted by Ian’s lush vocals while “Next Stop Anywhere” features his expert craftsmanship on acoustic and electric guitar. There is a nice balance between lighter sounds and heavier rock.

The Learning Tree contains no bad tracks, all fifty minutes is worth your attention. The album sounds great and the songs are catchy and interesting, with just a nod to classic progressive rock. Highly recommend!

Track Listing:
1. A Pirate’s Dream (5:58)
2. Happily Ever After (6:08)
3. Cast In Stone (4:53)
4. Hereafter (4:32)
5. Next Stop Anywhere (4:51)
6. Saved (5:11)
7. Letter From Home (5:11)
8. Something More Nothing Less (5:14)
9. Shine On (6:47)

Added: February 21st 2023
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 660
Language: english

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