David Mikeal returns with his, simply titled, third solo
outing "David III". You may remember
David from when he was a member of the classic AOR
whose lone album was released on A&M
in 1981. Often regarded as a cult classic, MPG'sdebut was a fine piece of laid-back,
Dominated AOR in the moult
of bands like Tycoon, Alliance, All Sports Band and
Sojourn.Davids solo releases have hinted
at his past, but have
Kept one eye firmly on the future.
This album is no exception. On tracks such as "Jealousy" and "Mystery
David sounds uncannily like MrBig's
Eric Martin, in fact "Jealousy" could be an old Eric Martin Band "outtake,
such is it"s resemblance. It also has it"s fair share
of pompy moments, as the
Likes of "Front Page
News" and the stunning "Crying All
Alone In The Night" (keyboards to die for, on this
one) will testify. Excellently produced, with
great slab of hook-laden, harmony
over-loaded AOR " then look no further than this album. Well recommended, and
one of the top albums this month.
You can buy copies from www.davidmikeal.com
- III (INDEPENDENT) David Mikeal - vocals, all instruments
Guests: Michael E Smith - drums and James Smith on 'SpanishCastle Magic'
David Mikeal has been a busy man of late. Keeping up
a busy schedule at his Difference Studios in Florida, David has also spent time
helping out Austrian female artist Yamuna
(refer www.yamuna-music.com), while also working on his latest venture under
the David moniker. And if you thought that wasn't enough, how about ducking and
diving for cover during the height of the Florida Hurricane season? I know I'd
be a little bit perturbed if I had a houseful of expensive recording equipment
with 170 kph winds blowing around outside. It's
enough to drive a man to music, and that is exactly what the former MPG
guitarist has resorted to with Chapter III of the David adventure.
Less of a science-fiction theme this time around (only the album
cover passes a fleeting glance), David has given us a powerful selection
of tunes; a mixture of bruising rockers, pompous and parpy
keyboard arrangements, and a couple of covers. Mostly though, it's quite a
rocky affair, more so than the previous two David albums I feel. The songs too
are more immediate and 'in the face' than before, which instantly gives it
play-back credibility. It's my guess that AORsters
and hard rockers alike will find 'David III' appealing. First up comparisons
would point a finger at a band like Idle Cure for instance, particularly
where guitars and keyboards meet.
The opener 'I Can't Tell A Lie' is probably not the
strongest of starts; the latin styled acoustic guitar
and the predominant hip-hop rhythm is a bit of a contrast to the rockier
strains wanting to push through on the chorus. The direction of the album is
put right on 'Mystery Lover', with crunching electric guitars on top of an
acoustic build-up, mixed with parping keyboards and
multi-vocal harmonies. Much better me thinks! A ballad
'Number One' appears early in the count, and while not exactly radio fodder,
has enough interest and variety to go into repeat-play mode. Probably my fave track is 'Waiting For The Big
Time' which has an identikit 80's sound that harks back to that era from MPG,
Touch et al! The Indian styled intro of 'Thundercloud' leads into an
exotic offbeat arrangement..trying
to be a rainmaker perhaps?
A pair of very good melodic rockers follow next.
'Jealousy' features some uptempo riffing, while 'It
Was Meant To Be' dabbles in a Harem Scarem styled sound topped by a stylish guitar solo. To
change the mood altogether, a pair of covers is next on the menu. I guess
everybody remembers the Stevie Wonder
chestnut 'Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing'. It's given the David Mikeal treatment. I like it a lot, but I guess much of our
readership will resort to the fast forward button. On the other hand, the Jimi Hendrix tune 'Spanish Castle Magic' is
another given a reworking, and great to see Mikeal
letting loose on the guitar in true axe-wielding fashion. That brief spacey solo
is one for the books.. I'm sure Jimi
will give a nod of approval. 'Frontpage News' is
another of those 80's wonderful throwbacks while 'Question Of
Privacy' is a mid tempo track, that picks up the pace as we progress through
it. Some lovely keyboard touches on this one too. The track has the feel of
some of those late 80's/early 90's Christian AOR releases -a good sign indeed!
The last track 'Cryin' All Alone In The Night' could
be Idle Cure to a tee..a
tight hard rock structure, the right guitar/keyboard interplay and a catchy
chorus to boot.
If any of you have heard the previous David albums 'Journey ToPoexula' and 'Presence', I can report that the latest
'David III' effort blows those two albums out of the water. The hard rock
dynamics stand out quite noticeably, and while the album contains a couple of
tracks that don't quite work for me, the majority of them do! A few plays will
soon have you replaying this disc over again. The tell-tale sign of course is
upon first listen, the songs demand instant listening. A very
commendable release. Watch this space for the forthcoming interview with
Review By: George Thatcher
01 I Can't Tell A Lie
02 Mystery Lover
03 Number One
04 Waiting For The Big Time
07 It Was Meant To Be
08 Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing
09 Front Page News
10 Spanish Castle Magic
11 Question Of Privacy
12 Cryin' All Alone In The Night
With Presence, ex MPG mainman and multi-instrumentalist, David Mikeal, has easily and substantially surpassed the attractive, pomp flavoured poprock immediacy of 1995's Journey To Poexula. This has everything - depth, subtlety, power, and even when delivering the big moments in colourful , widescreen, 3D graphics, you feel Mikeal is still holding something in reserve. Credit to Mikeal for all of this - although David is ostensibly a band, Mikeal wrote, produced, engineered, and mixed the album. Phew!!!
HARD ROXX Magazine, England
This is the second album that David has done, and yes, it's a band even if David Mikeal is the main man. He produced, mixed, wrote almost all the songs, sings, played guitar, bass, keys, drums and harmonica. The album starts with Conversation, a great song that sounds almost like Nelson/Boston. David (the guy) has by the way a great voice that sounds like a mix of Richard Marx/Eric Martin and the high notes of Rick Emmett. "All the Girls get Lonely" and "Save the World" are both really good songs. But the best is yet to come. "Anything 4 U" and "Never Give Up" are high class, soft AOR (a-la Richard Marx) that you wanna play over and over again. The only not so good about this album is the too sugar-sweet ballad "Lonely Old Man" (almost country) and the Beatles medley "Sgt Pepper/I am the Walrus" (not bad but boring). To the fans of the above mentioned singers/bands, all I can say is "buy buy". And to the "melodic" record companies: Sign them up or at least help them with distribution. This is too good to be missed. See our interview section, for more information www.davidmikeal.com
CATCHY HOOKS Magazine,Sweden
The first thing I noticed about this CD(Journey To Poexula) was the quality of the recording. The separation is great. David consists of David Tinny on drums and per-
cussion, Danny Baldrich on guitars and vocals, Bill Gifford on bass, and David Mikeal on lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, harmonica, and drum programs. Poexula is "a futuristic city where all is positive...a utopia", so to say the songs on this CD tend to be rather "up" would be an understatement. I would describe the music as 80's rock with 90's technology. The songs all have strong hooks and are beautifully performed. David Mikeal has a vocal range that is not to be believed. He hits some high notes that are in the strato-
sphere(check out "Out of Control"). One of my personal favorites is "This Could Be", a gentle ballad with nice harmonies
MUSIC FORUM Magazine,Florida
Leader of this band is David Mikeal, who you might remember of the 80's pomprockband MPG that cut one album. His band is simply called David, there is even another David in the band, namely drummer David Tinny. Bassist Bill Gifford completes the lineup of David. What follows are some nice melodic rockers("All The Girls Get Lonely," "Save the World," and "No More Heroes"). Points: 8.0 out of 10
STRUTTER ZINE Magazine, Netherlands
AS IS "As is" (Independent)
AS IS is a new jazzy progressive rock band formed by
underrated singer/songwriter David Mikeal who is based in Florida. At one point
David was even signed to A & M records and released a wonderful album with
pomsters MPG, since then he has recorded two excellent solo records under the
name "DAVID" called "Journey To Poexula" and "Presence", both of which received
much praise in magazines such as Hard Roxx and Aor Classics. "AS IS" are a very
good band, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single song. Influences range from,
ZZ TOP, FRANK ZAPPA, DAVID LEE ROTH (A Little Ain"t Enough/Just A Gigolo era,)
MICHAEL SWEET, STUART SMITH, HENRY LEE SUMMER, THE MUSIC SHIP, THE BLUES
BROTHERS, WALK THE WIRE and even a lower toned version of the mighty SPROCK"S
I really liked the song "Leech". The song builds into a
great southern bluesy song. David"s vocal part sounds perfect and very raspy
and smokey. I particularly liked the inclusion of a horn section which gives
the song it"s commercial values. It"s an excellent up tempo groovy fun song as
is (no pun intended) "Pirate Ship". This track has some really cool bluesy
guitar playing and some really cool keyboard work in that classic hipy 70"s LED
ZEPPELIN era style!!
"Amsterdam" reminds me of TAKARA, ERIC MARTIN and almost
MICHAEL BOLTON (Everybody"s CRAZY era.) Listen to the way David clambers up
yhose scales, actually this is a great song. I hear so many different
experimentations during this cut that I am left totally biased and dazzeled!!
"Merlin" is also very good and features yet more dazzling
jangly jazzy keyboard work. This song is simply brilliant. Very progressive and
almost sounds like vintage MAGNUM!!
Yes, "AS IS" is a good solid blues semi-progressive rock album
full of nifty playing from the whole band, watch the labels fight over this
lot!! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
8/10Review by Nicky
Baldrian (freelance writer) Strutter Zine Magazine, The Netherlands
Craving something new and
original? Come along with David Mikeal and take a walk in the
Owner of "Difference Studios"
in Winter Park, Fl, David is an engineer, a producer, an extremely
talented songwriter, a singer, and a multi-instrumentalist.
The inspiration for this
album came in the rainforest on St, Kitts, a small volcanic island in the Caribbean, and
in Maui, Hi. Where he was setting up recording studios. Some of the bird
sounds were gathered from both places, and others including the sounds of bald
eagles, were recorded at his home on 55 acres in central Florida.
Although he comes from a
background in pop rock, David now finds he is much involved in nature
and animal tribal drum sounds and chanting, which he attributes to his partial
American Indian heritage. He has magically interwoven into the music all the
fascinating sounds of the wild.
With the exception of Morning
Rainbow, composed with James Insalaco, who also plays solo piano on this track,
all songs were composed, engineered and performed by David on six- and
twelve-string guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, bamboo flutes, guiro, cabasa, tamba,
electric bass, and a variety of drums.
David has created magical music one never tires of hearing.
While all the tracks are superb, some of my favorites are #1, Sunrise, #5,
To The Ocean and #6, Afternoon Mist. Clips of this fascinating musical
experience can be heard on the website.
Heidi Bonisa - The Light Connection Magazine, California