Artist: Mark Spiro
Mark Spiro could well be described as one of those everything he touches turns to gold in the music business. Gold and Platinum records galore, six solo albums and other artists using his songs or production, what more could he want?
Like many in his position, it could be the need to make his own music that has him at his happiest. With that in mind, seven years after his last album 'Mighty Blue Ocean', 2012 sees Spiro return with his new release 'It's A Beautiful Life'.
You can hear the possible market that it's being aimed at almost immediately when the second verse of 'It's a Beautiful Life' comes in, the opening track melodic enough, yet there's an element of lady Antebellum hanging over the song. That pop / country / aimed at chart success is being lapped up over in America at the moment, and you can see why.
'I Know Who I Love' begins as if it is a continuation of the previous track, the computerized-sounding drum-beat and slight touches of guitar lead into a harmonized vocal section. It shows just how well Spiro's voice complements this style of music, his tone not overpowering the proceedings.
As 'Come Back To Me' sails by in a breeze of acoustic guitar and cymbals, you're then hit with what anyone will describe lyrically as a time in their lives they've all gone through. 'Love Struck Dumb' is a lovely acoustic-led ballad that hits you in the gut as it brings back memories from your youth long hidden or forgotten, so it's obvious Spiro knows how to write a damn fine emotional song or two!
That other one here is 'Dance The Lonely Spotlight', its tale of a woman who let her dreams pass her by as the years went on, and cleverly entwined is the message of us all doing the same. Quite simple, yet right on the button.
'Might As Well Be Me' beings with that awful electronic style drum-beat again that seems to reign supreme throughout the album, which is quite off putting at times. It will be interesting to hear the songs live compared to the CD. Hopefully they'll be more "real".
'Brand New Beautiful Day' and 'Dream Big, Pray Hard' pass by again as if they're one long song, only the gap between them being the tell-tale sign of two actual songs, whilst the "tap-tap" intro to 'Everything I Do' does REALLY "tap-tap" at your nerves, rather annoyingly!! Even though there's a quick burst of clever solo thrown in, it doesn't help.
As the album ends on that note, it leaves you feeling slightly "well, was that it them?". Nothing more, nothing less than that, which is a shame.
'It's A beautiful Life' is all easy listening and melodious at best, but musically nothing really stands out. Its lyrically where Spiro's strength lies on the album, and you can see why he's so successful in that field. The Americans will love this album, but for us Brits, I don't know ...
by: Bob Baldwin
1. It's A Beautiful Life
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