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CD REVIEW: Michael Carroll - Electronic

By: Cyrus Rhodes


"amazing musical journey"





Artist: Michael Carroll
Album: Electronic

Label: Cody Loop

Website: http://codyloop.com/

Genre: Ambient – Chill - Dub

Sounds Like: Moby, Prodigy, Peter Gabriel

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Surfer Boy, Aspect, Waken Part,

Weakness: Inconsistent rhythmic foundation, Lack of melody, Engineering aspects (Mastering)



Progressive/Electronic/Ambient/New Age Composer Michael Carroll just released his latest effort entitled Electronic in 2012. Carroll hails from Arizona.


The CD gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “Aspect”. This song methodically serves up infectious musical ambience against mesmerizing rhythm that gently leads you by the hand down the path of what I would describe a progressive musical indulgence. Track 2 “Finalization” shifts gears a bit with its slow moving, melancholy groove and impressive sonic accents painted against a grand mosaic of chill-type soundscapes. This piece brilliantly move across your ears very much like an ocean flows an ebbs across the sand. Track 3 “Drive” is an impressive worldly piece that is quite dynamic, full of musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. The first 3 pieces are remarkably striking to the ears with their spaced out, trippy grooves. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Moby, Prodigy and Deep Forrest, however I can even hear brief flashes of Peter Gabriel and even Yasunori Mitsuda. I would classify this music as classic New Age with classic remnants of Dub and Chill - all possessing brilliant flashes of theatrical ambience. You will also notice rich layers of ambient instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamic sequencing, melodic soundscapes, sporadic drums and percussion, piano, guitar, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies. The musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board delivering 16 trippy yet compelling pieces. Carroll proves himself as a composer with this release. From heartfelt “Telekinetic” to spacey “Frozen” to clairvoyant “The Cradle” to striking “Salty” to hypnotic Unseen” to my personal favorite “Surfer Boy” this CD Pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Remark” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

I wish I more in the way of rhythm and electronic percussion on some pieces. Because of this it’s safe to say the CD lacks a consistent rhythmic foundation overall. This represents a huge realm of musical depth not explored by Carroll on some pieces. Though many songs deliver a brilliant low end foundation, it’s fair to say some songs lacks melodic reinforcement or structure to go with the low end stuff. I also kept rushing to turn down my volume knob on some pieces due to some of the melodies being a bit hot within the mix, or sonic space - very much like a face is smashed up against the glass. There is no indication with the brief liner notes if the production was even mastered.  CD over art ironically lacks creativity when compared to the musical scope of the project at hand.

For those listeners, like myself that want a flowing theatrical ambience to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively look no further. Electronic by Michael Carroll delivers an amazing musical journey that is highly original, mysterious and unpredictable. Its strong suit it’s amazing sonic ambience the song for song musical flow. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you. This CD feels like a musical journey and will work best when experienced in that capacity. If I could say anything to Carroll is simply this – add a bit more with respect to rhythm and high note melody and you’ve got yourself a real winner. Also hire a professional grade Mastering engineer to get the broadest perspective out of your musical production. So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with sonic ambience, theatrical brilliance and a psychedelic rock aftertaste then I highly recommend you take a listen to Electronic by Michael Carroll as soon as possible. 

Cyrus Rhodes

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