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Mike Rutherford - Acting Very Strange CD (album) cover


Mike Rutherford


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1.68 | 72 ratings

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3 stars An underrated album, but almost understandably so. Mike sings the lead vocals, and while his vocals have many strengths, they are an aquired taste. Very scratchy, and occasionally out of tune, but also very aggressive and heartfelt, and on most of the songs that is a plus. The only song that I can easily imagine being improved by someone with a more experienced voice is "Who's Fooling Who" (I'm thinking Noel McCalla, or someone of a similar timbre), but then it doesn't sound that bad with Mike singing either. His voice seems most suited to the catchy power pop of "Maxine." The only thing is, after a whole album, the vocals do wear a little thin, and it's not something I could listen to on a regular basis, but thanks to a good amount of the songs being very, very good songs, I could put to this album on somewhat of a 2nd tier medium rotation. The first two songs don't really grab my attention much, although "A Day To Remember" does have very interesting lyrics. Actually, pretty much all the lyrics on this album are very clever and intelligently written. ("Couldn't Get Arrested" is supposedly about having a diffucult time making a mark on the music industry.) Musically, the album is very upbeat and spirited, with heavy doses of energetic, trebbly distorted guitar and synths (yes, those adjectives apply to both instruments), and Stuart Copeland sounding very much like himself does a fine job drumming on this one. As for melodies, hooks, and songwriting in general, well, you can't ask for a better hook than the ones in "Halfway There" and "I Don't Wanna Know", and that inlcudes the latter's very Police-like outro refrain "I don't wanna be another fool... " I think the album slopes down a little bit at the end, with the slow ballad "Hideaway" sounding a little genericky, but Rutherford's vocals on the chorus are very touching, so that helps. Add everything up, and you have a very exotic and unexpectedly different album of energetic pop/rock with plently of great music to jump over coffee tables to.
7headedchicken | 3/5 |


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