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Spiro, Mark: Mighty Blue Ocean

Mark Spiro is a man who has produced and sung with artists like Giant, Neal Schon, John Waite and others who have collectively sold more than 100 million records. But both Spiro's name and his solo career have remained shrouded in anonymity. And that's a shame.

On 2003's King of Crows, he leaned toward the classic singer/songwriter pop-rock side of music, an approach he continues on Mighty Blue Ocean. But listening to these 11 songs with snappy melodies, sung in a slightly strained voice that often recalls a less-saccharine Phil Collins or a less-tortured Joe Walsh, you can't help but notice that they are more sophisticated than practically anything else to which Spiro has lent his name. Perhaps that's because, as his liner notes in Mighty Blue Ocean explain, Spiro came face-to-face with cancer in 2004 and wasted away "from the inside out." In remission at the time of this album's release, Spiro's lyrics feature sometimes spiritual, often humble characteristics coupled with a newfound joy in simply being alive.

While Mighty Blue Ocean isn't a concept album, it seems to be heavily autobiographical. In "Band of Angels," Spiro sings about his diagnosis; in "Being In Your World," he explores his recovery efforts, and finally in one of the record's prettiest, happiest songs, "Perfect Wave," he rejoices at redemption and a second chance. But Spiro's most poignant lines come in "The Life That I Live," the album's closing track, which finds him letting go of his grand young man's dreams in favor of the love and life of a family that almost lost him: "Here I am/Regular kids/Going to work/That's how it is/But I wouldn't trade any life/For the life that I live."

Welcome to the rest of your life, Mr. Spiro.

Track Listing:
1) Mighty Blue Ocean
2) Band of Angels
3) Monster
4) When She Cries
5) Envy Shade of Green
6) The Beautiful One
7) Bits and Pieces
8) Being In Your World
9) Perfect Wave
10) My Velocity
11) The Life That I Live

Added: January 18th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Atenzia Records
Hits: 2525
Language: english

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