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Album Review: New Music and Big Pop – Another Michael

by Charles Lull, Albright College

Album Review: New Music and Big Pop – Another Michael

The Philadelphia indie trio combines somber songwriting with pleasant melodies to create an ethereal listen, but have some issues with getting the record going.

The Content – Another Michael writes songs about very important life moments, but the singer makes them feel like the listener is the one experiencing them. A lot of the songs sound watery, like you’re looking out onto an oncoming storm, with melancholic and low-key vocals that sound like you’re having a private conversation with the band. These songs were recorded in a dream-like state. On New Music, the lead singer is singing about not having heard a song before and he makes it sound like one of the most important life events with a girl. While he’s singing about the girl, listeners can easily put themselves in his place.

He follows that up with other great songs, like Big Pop, What The Hell Is Going On, and the closer, Shaky Cam. Instead of doing that same sound repetitiously, these tracks flesh out their sound which gives greater depth to this record. This record shares DNA with Phoebe Bridgers or Clario. Their soft melodies combined with gentle instrumentation, singing about mental health and personal struggles, might get through to some.

While this record does have shining moments, it also has major flaws. If the listener isn’t into the dreamy-pop rock sound, this will be difficult to get through. The production isn’t the best in spots, like on I’m Not Home. I’m still wondering why they decided to throw air horns in the latter half of the song and nowhere else. Or on Row, which may be the worst song on the album. It nearly made me fall asleep with its dreary playing. The overall energy of that song feels lower than usual. Also, the pacing on this record is subpar. Everything sort of blends together and it is hard to distinguish tracks. The only major part that feels different from anything else is the last few moments on Shaky Cam, which brings in some volume and intensity that I honestly wasn’t expecting. If the band added more songs like this, I feel like this would give this record more memorable moments. Instead, we are given some solid tracks, and a lot of filler.

The Skinny – I’m just not sure that this record will be a stand-out for me this year, but if you like dreamy-indie pop with an emphasis on softer melodies, and are able to ignore noticeable flaws with lyrics and pacing, you’ll enjoy this record.

The Rating – 6/10

Notable Tracks: