Mike Grosshandler,
Wrote Myself
(independent, 2004)

Mike Grosshandler's Wrote Myself is full of consistently good music, with the guitar and his vocals blending well into each other. Some of the songs may be harder to connect to, and the emotional side of the song might seem to be either flat or missing. But then you have the songs where the emotional connection is there where you can feel it, and it is very good.

The soft rasp in the vocals of "Now for a Then" blends with the guitar to create a simple sound to carry the songs. The lyrics continue to reach back from now to then in "Florida."

The rasp and simplicity fit the feel of coming so close in "Wait." There is an unsettling edge in the lyrics of "Digestion," which is built on by some of the sounds added to the music later in the song.

There is a slightly disconnected feel to "Emily's Song (Forever with Me)" as the voice of the song hasn't quite let go yet. The distance continues into "Wrote Myself," but as the song reaches the final repeat, that gap is bridged. "Couchside" is a lovely instrumental piece that feels nice and inviting.

The energy seeps away from "Step Outside" and you can feel how tired the speaker of the song is at that point. The desire to be heard comes out in "Help Me" using lyrics written by one of Mike's classmates many years ago. There is sterility in "White Marble Floor," and while there is an emotional emptiness in the lyrics, it still ends up feeling disconnected.

Some of the emotions carry into "Flying" as it balances on the flipping point between joy and sorrow just before the fall. "Benchy" is a quiet piece of remembrance with the guitar giving voice to the joys and sorrows therein. Then comes Type O Negative's "Die with Me" and the quietly intense emotions of the song work very well with his voice.

Wrote Myself might not be the perfect album, but then what is a perfect album? It is good, and what is good far outweighs what is not quite as good, and the music will stick with you after the CD has stopped playing.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Paul de Bruijn

9 January 2009

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