Album – Just Before Dark – Mike Viola

Posted by admin on December 16th, 2005

  • Band / Artist : Mike Viola
  • Genre : Rock / Pop
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy Vinyl : Buy
  • Buy Digital Download : TBA
  • Rating : 9 out of 10

Mike Viola of the Candy Butchers releases his latest album as a solo artist and a mighty fine album it is. I have heard this album numerous times now and I just know this is what the love child of Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, Donovan and Bob Dylan would sound like, if he were a boy and he could sing and this whole assumption wasn’t totally ludicrous.

This album was created live in front of an audience at Largo in Los Angeles and I must say the sound quality and performance are incredible. You would never know that the album was live, until the audience starts to clap and gives it away.

The album opens with “Hair of the Dog” and is beautifully simple and slightly haunting. In fact it will always have a very personal meaning to me. I first listened to this album the day after our dog Kosmo died and it imediately struck a chord with me. It wasn’t till much later that I found out the name of the title track.

Throughout the album, the emphasis is on an acoustic sound of guitar and piano. The lyrics are very well crafted and the whole sound is very remeniscent of Paul Simon. In fact I must say that much of the music and lyrics, could be easily performed by Paul Simon and people would be none the wiser. That’s not to say that this is a poor imitation, it’s not. It easily stands up on it’s own merit and is certainly an album that will be in rotation on my CD player for a while.

If I had a single complaint it would be that this album is too short at just under 30 minutes. I got to the end of track 9, expecing to hear more, but all I got was the sound of silence. I think that’s what they call in the entertainment field ‘Leaving them clamouring for more’. I suppose I’m going to have to go out and buy some more albums. Boy won’t my wife be pleased 🙂

This album is only available in vinyl, but the first 200 orders will also receive a CD of the album. I can just imagine the beautiful sound of the album in conjunction with the turntable. Ah, I love vinyl and miss the whole experience of buying an album. A digital version of the album will be available next year.

Conclusion : This is Mike Viola / The Candy Butchers 8th album and I’m astonished I haven’t heard of them before. Good music is timeless and this is much, much more than good music.

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