|Mike Viola - 'Acousto De Perfecto' (Lojinx)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Monday, 23 July 2012 04:00|
Mike Viola's reputation really does precede him. I've been aware of the man for a number of years despite having not really sat down to listen to his music. And the music that I have consumed has been like second-hand smoke - his contribution to the excellent album by The Major Labels where he teamed up with Bleu and Ducky Carlisle being one and his songwriting with Tim Christensen being another. Hell maybe even you, dear reader, have passively inhaled his songwriting if you've ever watched the films 'That Thing You Do!', 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story' or 'Get Him To The Greek'.
Any of you out there who are clever with titles and know something about Mike Viola might notice the similarity between 'Acousto De Perfecto' and last year's 'Electro De Perfecto'. Is there a link? Well sure there is. During Mike's solo touring of that album the songs naturally took on a sparse nature all of their own. Mike then drafted in violinists Eric Summer and Kate Reddish for some late night shows and the rest, as they say, is history.
But this album is no mere repeat of 'Electro De Perfecto' - only three songs from that album were committed to tape - yes tape! - 8-track analog! Two more were taken from Mike's back catalogue while the remaining six are brand spanking new.
'Acousto De Perfecto', in case you haven't got the message by now, is an ACOUSTIC album with a Beatles-y feel to it. The strings lend an 'Eleanor Rigby' like air while Mike's finger picking gives a 'Blackbird' like feel - 'I'm Your Dog' being a prime example.
'Soundtrack Of My Summer' works really well in this format though you can hear through the arrangement its previous life as a fully-fledged power pop song - even if you're not familiar with that particular version. The same is partially true for 'Closet Cutter' - being a barely tamed rock song - but this is a great re-imagining.
Mike sings in 'Secret Radio': "Songs, songs, songs, they pour out of me. Not all of them are worth finishing but you've got to finish them to see." But lyric of the album must go to the brilliant 'El Mundo De Perfecto' and "Pin me down and spit in my mouth, put all of your weight on my chest". And I think that Mike speaks for us all when elsewhere he sings "No I don't wanna go to work. No I don't wanna play. I don't wanna do anything else but hang around the house all day".
'Acousto De Perfecto' is a cool and refreshingly different album. I like the way that instrumental tracks such as 'Thing In C' act as a segue between songs while keeping the mood intact. The whole album has a consistent and spacious trio feel to it. It's a great solo introduction to Mike Viola and will be sure to get the unfamiliars diving deep into his back catalogue.
To pick up your copy of 'Acousto De Perfecto' - CLICK HERE