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Mike Keneally - Mike Keneally & Beer For Dolphins: Dancing CD (album) cover


Mike Keneally



4.04 | 32 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars For those who don't know Mike Keneally he previously played in Frank Zappa's band replacing Steve Vai as the stunt guitarist in the latter part of the eighties. I would recommend checking out a couple of live Zappa recordings that Mike played on in "The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life" and "Make A Jazz Noise Here" both released in 1991. Mike has created at least a dozen studio albums over the years including a new release this year. This one is from 2000 and it's my first experience with Keneally's solo stuff.

First off I have to say my first couple of listens didn't go that well as I wasn't expecting so much normal music for someone who is listed under Avant and Experimental sub-genres on most sites. After many listens though this has both grown on me but also it has slowly revealed it's true self. This is sophisticated music with clever and often humerous lyrics. There are 20 tracks so i'll touch on some of the highlights. Okay the low light first of all is "Live In Japan" which is just too catchy for my tastes. Not a good start and it did make me think that the album's title was based on this track. The next song "Ankle Bracelet" is a favourite of mine though. This is powerful with vocals while "Backward Deb" also has some beef to it with that low-end sound and check out the interesting lyrics(haha). Nice instrumental section around 3 minutes in especially the drumming. "We'll Be Right Back" has some thought provoking lyrics and check out the vibes and sax later on. Excellent track. "Joe" is a beautiful laid back tune with vocals and the vibes are a nice touch as well.

"Pretty Enough For Girls" has some flute early on then this Zappa-like guitar solo takes over. Some funny spoken words 4 1/2 minutes in then we get passionate vocals to follow. "Taster" is a great instrumental that at one point reminds me of PORCUPINE TREE with the atmosphere. "Selfish Otter" is more of what I was expecting with the complex and experimental sound. "Only Mondays" is silky smooth like a STEELY DAN tune. Love it! "Lhai Sal" has some killer bass in it and is guitar driven with some impressive drum work. "Brown Triangles" is Zappa-like all the way,especially the guitar. "I Was Not Ready For You" is a melancholic vocal track that I enjoy a lot. "Ragged Ass" is humerous with lights-out playing. Nice bass 1 1/2 minutes in followed by vibes and sax. "Skull Bubbles" is great both lyrically and instrumentally.

I have to say that this probably wasn't the best place to start when it comes to Mike Keneally albums, especially if your into Avant music but on the other hand for someone more into the melodic side of music this might be the perfect place to start. A low 4 stars and I look forward to some of Mike's more challenging recordings.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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