Michael DeAngelis, |
Son of a Dunigan
(October Eve, 2005)
New songs are often difficult to review. We hear them cold and I find that if a song can catch my ear and heart on a single performance it must have some magic ingredient. Son of a Dunigan has a number of such moments, and I believe that if the people who choose songs for radio airplay give it a fair appraisal, we could hear a lot more from singer-songwriter Michael DeAngelis.
His voice is natural, mellow and clear. The arrangements are not overdone and he seems to sing from the heart. What more can you ask?
A song that could be a classic of the emigrant genre for the new century is "Donegal." It is a gentle song but will tug the heartstrings of anyone who has lived away from the "home place."
The biggest risk a singer takes is not going on stage or trying out a new composition. I find that anyone singing a song written by another performer or one that has been a hit for someone else is juggling with dynamite. Michael does this with "Galway to Graceland," and the only explosion is enjoyment. It is a fantastic rendition. "Lost in Cork" is another beautiful track. Listening to this and looking at other tracks I realize that this singer is in some ways taking us on a musical tour of the country. The plus is that he is doing it with style unlike some others who give us a roll call of towns and villages -- maybe expecting sales in each.
My favourite song on the album is "Nobody Knows." It brings together a story and a chorus that will draw you in. In the same vein we get a wonderful track from the pen of Jon Anderson (is this the writer of "On Eagle's Wings"?) as he takes us along the road with a refugee.
The album ends all too soon with another favourite of mine on first hearing, "Almost Home." This epitomises the album -- great lyrics, spare accompaniment and wonderful voice.
You may come to feel that I like this CD and you would be underestimating the album. This has the potential to be my album of 2005 even though it is only in the first quarter of the year. This album combines self-penned songs and interpretations of the works of others. It is a well-chosen mix and Michael does an excellent job in performance.
For more information you could check out www.mdeangelis.com or simply buy the album and enjoy.