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CD REVIEW: Mike Barnett - Everybody gets to Dream

by: Cyrus Rhodes





Artist/Band: Mike Barnett

Album: Everybody gets to Dream
Label: Tort Music

Website: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mikebarnett12

Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Punk, Indie Rock
Sounds Like: Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty, The Cars, David Byrne, The Beatles, They Might be Giants

Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: I Could Fall, It Must Be Love,
Heidi Surprise, Everybody Gets to Dream

Weakness:  A few short sided songs, winded song, more solo segments, no barcode




In music, breaking rules and challenging conventional wisdom are often deliberate efforts to establish a marketing niche, but for Mike Barnett it's probably a natural state of mind. Composer, musician producer Mike Barnett just released his latest CD entitled “Everybody Gets to Dream” in 2014.


The CD quickly takes to flight with jumpy intro piece “Who Loves You Blue.” This song serves up infectious rocked out musical ambience against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic guitar, harmonies and driving rock rhythm that gently leads you by the hand down the path of trippy/poppy musical indulgence. Track 2 “I Could Fall” shifts gears a bit with its methodical intro, trippy alternative rock vibe and infectious vocals from Barnett. Track 3 “Late At Night” is an impressive hooky-rock piece that is full of musical peaks and valleys, impressive organ that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. By track 4 this CD hits solid stride delivering many impressive songs back to back. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Todd Rundgren, David Byrne, The Cars however I can even hear brief flashes of The Beatles, They Might be Giants” and even a dash of The Flaming Lips. I would classify this music as trippy Singer/Songwriter, Punk, and Alternative Rock with a fun and eccentric Psychedelic, Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear some dub-experimental music with classic remnants of Poppy Alternative Rock. The CD at times presents brilliant peak and valley flow via a strong artistic perspective. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of organ, melodic soundscapes, sporadic percussion, rhythm guitar, organ, solo guitar, lush harmonies, keyboards,  low end beats, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies - all built on a thick as a brick rhythmic foundation. Barnett showcases impressive yet zany singing and songwriting skills throughout. His musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board as Barnett is clearly letting it all hang out in a fun way with this release. All production aspects check out. CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. Barnett has an effective baritone and all harmonies are effective and well placed. At times his voice reminds me a bit of John Lennon and Tom Petty. From heartfelt “It Must Be Love” to psychedelic “Merry Christmas to Me” to hooky “Heidi Surprise” to melodic title track to rocking “Push Me Away” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 “To You” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  


Many tracks feel like an incomplete statements to me while the title track drags you to the finish line. I wish there were more solo segments throughout the catalog, especially on guitar. This would have made the short sided songs feel more complete. There’s no barcode anywhere on the package indicating to me a retail non-compatibility - a bit unorthodox. 


Everybody Gets to Dream” by Mike Barnett is a zany, fun, compelling musical journey. This DIY composer, producer, musician is making waves for themselves for a reason. Its strong suit is its amazing producers touch and song for song musical flow. Barnett gets high marks from me for delivering a zany, carefree vibe - nice touch. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing trippy musical experience to fill their atmosphere. This straight forward, easy to digest musical format makes for a great musical experience many will enjoy. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you - because Everybody Gets to Dream


Cyrus Rhodes