Home

IMD Mission Statement

Artist Services

CD Reviews

Song Reviews

Interviews

Live Reviews

How to Submit a CD

How to Submit a Song

IMD Music Critics

Join the IMD Team

Testimonials

Advertise with us

Partners

Links

Contact us

 

 

MD Pro Assessments

Music Business Essays

Gig's & Beyond

Studio Recording

Mixing

Mastering

CD Distribution

Radio Airplay

Press Packs

A&R Exposure

Music Placement

Movies & Film Exposure

 

 

 

 

 

 

CP REVIEW: Mike Ian - Puzzle Pieces

By: Cyrus Rhodes

 

"Ian is a force to be reckoned with"

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-

 

 

 

**********

Artist: Mike Ian
CP:
Puzzle Pieces

Label: Independent Artist

Website: www.mikeian.com

Genre: Alternative Rock, Pop Rock

Sounds Like: John Mayer, Gin Blossoms, The Rembrandts, The Beetles   

Technical Grade: /9/10

Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Puzzle Pieces, The Great Escape

Weakness: Winded songs

CD REVIEW:   

Singer, songwriter, guitarist Mike Ian based out of New Jersey releases his debut CD entitled Puzzle Pieces in 2010. Recorded at his own Eyeball Studios Mike Ian has performed, recorded, mixed, mastered & produced the entire production himself.  

Logging in at just over 45 minutes the CD takes flight with “Ticket to the Moon” a hard rocking intro piece that serves up steady rock rhythm, driving rhythm guitar chops & catchy vocal melody from Ian. This intro track sets the tone for the entire CD, with it’s feel good groove & grand slam chorus. Track 2 “The Sweetest Sound” dishes out yet another impressive rock ditty with its driving rock rhythms, addictive vocal melodies & thought provoking lyrical wisdom from Ian. Track 3 “Puzzle Pieces” serves up yet another solid track with clever lyrical content, driving melodies & impressive vocal accents again from Ian. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Blues Traveler, John Mayer, The Rembrandts, & even a dash of Gin Blossoms & even The Beetles. This CD makes a pretty solid first impression. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of warmth, variety, & strong melodic structure. I would classify this music as acoustic pop rock, with a slight alternative rock aftertaste. The songs themselves are addictive, & upbeat, complete with positive, carefree subject matter. The musicianship of this band is pretty solid across the board. The players themselves write, & play there parts extremely well. I especially like Ian’s guitar playing throughout the CD. Along the way you will notice lush layers of instrumentation. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also notice things like well placed slide guitar, classical guitar, banjo, & well placed sonic touches layered in the music. Equally as impressive is the vocal presence of Ian as he takes many vocal risks throughout the CD indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. If Ian just so happened to write all these songs – well he could be bigger than any of us realize. He clearly is a premier talent within this project & pound for pound possesses a lot of musical talent. Equally as impressive is the fact that he recorded, mixed, mastered & produced this CD himself – more on this later. All songs are short & sweet musical experiences, never too winded, never to short. From my personal favorite “Puzzle Pieces” to upbeat “My Lucky Day” & Better Days” to passionate “The White Gown” & “Mountain Song” to dynamic “Take Another Way”  this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD Ends with Track 10 “Tele Chicken Pickin” a perfect finale statement for a CD that doesn’t have a weak song on its entire catalogue.  

It's hard to find any notable weaknesses with this CD. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical noticing that Mike Ian recorded, mixed, mastered, produced, the CD all by himself. 90% this is a recipe for disaster as Independent Artists attempt o take all this on by themselves – severely underestimating the end result. This is in fact the first CD I’ve ever reviewed where one engineer was able to wear all 4 hats adequately. The CD is clearly industry standard. Typically having a few different Engineers assigned to a project will give it more production perspective. It’s fair to say all songs over 4 minutes tend to drag to the finish line. Perhaps 20% of this catalogue needs to be trimmed to make the experience more short & sweet.

“Puzzle Pieces” by Mike Ian is an impressive musical production from start to finish. The music is clean, goes down smooth, & the messages are upbeat & sung from a deeply carefree perspective. Its strong suit – the amazing musical talent of Mike Ian, My hats off to him for taking all this on (performing, recording, mixing, mastering, producing). He possesses enough musical talent, engineering savvy & songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. Like the aforementioned, there isn’t a weak song on this entire CD. The musicianship is first rate, the vocals, dynamic phrasing, & melodic accents are brilliantly placed & extremely well crafted. Puzzle Pieces let’s it all hang out musically on the CD. Mike Ian has clearly proven himself a force to be reckoned with this release.

Cyrus Rhodes

 

Read the Exclusive Mike Ian Interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home

IMD Mission Statement

CD Reviews

Song Reviews

Interviews

Live Reviews

How to Submit a CD

How to Submit a Song

IMD Music Critics

Join the IMD Team

IMD Pro Assessments

Music Business Essays

Gig's & Beyond

Studio Recording

Mixing

Mastering

CD Distribution

Radio Airplay

Press Packs

A&R Exposure

 

All materials copywrite of www.imdiemusicdigest.com. (c) 2007-2009 Indie Music Reviews. All Rights Reserved