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• The BWR review of "More Annoying Songs" •

"More Annoying Songs" - The new CD from Mike Gibbins

Exile Music - Copyright 2000
CDMG02 [ ]

A BWR Review: by Rick Kellogg

After everyone, (on this side of the Atlantic) was coming off a pretty good high after watching the VH1 'Behind The Music' special on Badfinger, my expectations were somewhat mixed as to what my first listening of Mike's new CD would reveal. On Mike's first solo CD released in early 1998 called "A Place In Time," I was thrilled that Mike was finally recording again after so many years. Fans of Badfinger were left waiting for Mike to resurface with some new songs after his strong writing on "Badfinger," "Wish You Were Here" and the unreleased, until now, "Head First." With each of those albums, Mike was producing more and more high quality, very listenable songs. But Mike's writing style and importance to the band always seemed to be overshadowed by other Badfinger matters. So when "A Place In Time" was released on Forbidden Records, my reaction to it was somewhat tainted. Mike was no longer collaborating and recording with Pete, Tommy, Joey or Bob Jackson and I was not completely happy with "A Place In Time." ( Time has tempered my original feelings on this CD and I now enjoy it more today than in 1998. )

Now we are two and one half years later and on Mike's new "More Annoying Songs" release, Mike seems more comfortable recording and the songs are much stronger. To my ears, this is the CD that Badfinger fans have been waiting for! The playing is tighter, Mike's voice is more relaxed and his drumming style is more complex and it has that 'edge' again. Mike's engineering of this CD is also quite good.

From Mike's message board, Joe Pellegrino states:
""More Annoying Songs" is a great album on CD. It's almost like Mike began where Badfinger left off with "Wish You Were Here"! I like all the songs, the "progressive" sound...and the highlighted drums. Ron (Griffiths) sounds good too! I've heard the new CD a couple of times yesterday...I love that first long track. Thank you Mike for this very welcome addition to our collections!"

Mike responds with:
"I tried to squeeze a big sound onto one adat (8 tracks), it kind of worked but I will be moving up soon to 24 tracks direct to disc. "Wish You Were Here" was very well produced and I learned from Chris Thomas some of the tricks of the trade which can be heard especially on "Dream On... Fall To Pieces.""

At this point in my listening to Mike's new CD, I believe that "Dream On... Fall To Pieces" is Mike's strongest song in many a year. I really like it along with the rest of the CD! Here is a song-by-song run down of what Mike has released for our listening pleasure. The CD comes with a four page front insert that you can view in its entirety on Mike's web site. The players on this CD are the same as on "A Place In Time," Rick Warsing; guitars, bass. Mike Gibbins; vocals, piano, drums. Allen Hewgley; harp on "Oxydynamo" and "Time Will Tell Us." And as a special guest, Ron Griffiths; vocals on "Time Will Tell Us" and backup vocals on "Oxydynamo." The CD clocks in at 52:34 and contains nine songs.

1. Wired (9:46) 2. Two and Two (3:22) 3. Time Will Tell Us (4:20) 4. Chains (5:32) 5. Dirty Old Bugger (5:41) 6. Oxydynamo (6:34) 7. Love Song (3:24) 8. Hold On to Your Dream (4:14) 9. Dream On... Fall to Pieces (9:37)

Wired: A good mid-tempo song, with a catchy melody. The song is over nine minutes long and Mike and Rick Warsing stretch out in the middle portion of the song for some nice vocal and guitar work. And just as the song seems to end, you get a long fade out with Mike on drums and piano and Rick dabbling on guitar. Good opening song.

Two and Two: A bit of a honky-tonk piano, followed by Rick blues-ing the guitar intro. The story of Noah's ark put to music. I can see the animals moving 2 by 2 up the gang plank swaying to this song. Fun!

Time Will Tell Us: Starts out rockin' fading in and out with some Chuck Berry inspired guitar licks. Ron Griffiths takes to the vocals on this song quite smoothly. "So you wanna be a rock 'n' roll star, and ride up on the crest of a wave..." Ron sounds really great singing this song! Some subtle, or not so subtle, references to Joey's Badfinger...? I hope that this means that Ron is now 'officially' out of retirement.

Chains: Very nice love song from Mike. Melodic and revealing...

"Chains of love keep cutting in too deep,
Give me pleasure, give me pain
Give me sunshine and rain."

Dirty Old Bugger: Mike has really been developing a nice piano style over the years and he uses it very well here with a long intro to a song that I will only guess at what Mike is singing about!!! Mike's best Cockney English accent is thrown in for good measure... The song ends with a drum solo.

Oxydynamo: Certainly one of the most interesting songs on this CD. Ron Griffiths sings backup vocals on this. It also contains the line "more annoying songs" and "You call this music or what!" At times a sparse song, but a compelling vocal by Mike drives this song on. Another very good song for Mike.

Love Song: Um, well it's a love song... (duh!) Mike is using his voice effectively here for the chorus lines. This is one that will keep playing back again and again in your mind.

Hold On to Your Dream: A message to any of us that dream. A bit of a country flavoring in this song. Very nice melody Mike... This song sets up the next song.

Dream On... Fall to Pieces: In my opinion, Mike's strongest song on this CD and one that takes you back to the best crafting of the songs from the Badfinger days, but right in style with today's music. The theme of this song plays off the previous song, and like what Chris Thomas did on "Badfinger" and "Wish You Were Here," Mike blends two songs together seamlessly in a spacey segue into the song "Fall To Pieces." I hit the replay on this as soon as the song ended! One of Mike's best songs ever, and an excellent close to this much stronger CD from Mike Gibbins.

I can not say that this is the best of the solo CD efforts, but this strong new release from Mike will stay in rotation in the CD player. "More Annoying Songs" indeed! Mike, you can 'annoy' us anytime. Thank you for some really great new music! You can order this CD now direct from Exile Music, through the Mike Gibbins web site. If you haven't, do so today, you will not be disappointed.

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The review listed above are my feelings and opinions. You may feel completely different...and your point of view is just as valid. So take my review for what it is worth to you... At least, lighten up a bit before you e-mail me... :-)
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