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Gaito, Mike: Beard of Bees

This is a set of short, highly personalised songs highlighting emotions and events in the artist's life. The titles don't give much away though as "Ullow Kahng" opens the album with an elaborate arrangement and is then stunned back into a simple acoustic guitar, shaken percussion and vocal for the title track. The pleasant acoustic guitar which is at the base of many of the tracks occasionally reminds me of James Taylor's style and mix of singer/songwriter and jazz ethics. I like the stories Mike tells on the album artwork to flesh out his songs, although I think "Hobart the Emu" bears some similarity to that rabbit that used to follow Jimmy Stewart around.

There's a certain Zappa quality to "Asparagus and Glass" (perhaps inspired by Calvin's car?) whilst other highlights are "Vs" with its multi-tracked guitars and intriguing lyric, the attractive acoustic guitar composition in "The Fogged Flame", a mini-symphony and the daft but colourful, Syd Barrett-like, "Giant Canoe" (more nods to big FZ on here).

The album is quite well produced and Mike has a very listenable, if not particularly outstanding, voice. A decent effort.

Track Listing
1. Ullow Kahng
2. Beard of Bees
3. Art Bunny
4. Pagan educated guess listening credenza
5. Hobart the Emu
6. Asparagus and Glass
7. Marco
8. Vs.
9. The fogged flame
10. …the sometimes terrifying realities of getting exactly what you want…
11. Meek lanterns chosen nightly
12. Giant canoe
13. The oar
14. There are mornings
15. Be well, turbine

Added: November 9th 2007
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2601
Language: english

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