What The Monkees Meet SheDaisy Might Sound Like
Michael Daly | Wakefield, MA USA | 08/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The disco era may seem an unlikely period for Michael Nesmith, but Mike's ability to adapt showed on his eighth post-Monkees long player as here he gets funkier while retaining the ahead-of-its-time fusion of country with rock/pop, and also adds a new twist in his vocals - when he double-tracks vocals the faux-Micky Dolenz duet illusion comes back in but now he has a real live backing chorus, that includes his sometime co-composer Linda Hargrove, who flesh out some of the material quite well.
The opening track, Rio, is the most famous because it became a hit in Britain and Mike was asked to film a promotional clip for the song; he subsequently used the resulting footage as a proposal for a TV show titled Popclips that after he sold it became MTV. It is a clever fantasy piece whose influence has reached some elements of modern country in songs that ape Rio's groove and aura, particularly Jimmy Buffett's recent foray into Nashville.
Rio's follow-up, Casablanca Moonlight, continues this groove in a spirited dancy number before the album's mood shifts in the serious-toned More Than We Imagine, before the LP's two best tracks come up, the inspired cowboy ballad Navajo Trail - here Mike's backing band sound like SheDaisy to Mike's Nez-and-Micky double tracked vocal - followed by the Gretchen Wilson-flavored fantasy number We Are Awake - keep in mind that Mike hit these grooves before the SheDaisy sisters or Shania Twain were even approaching puberty.
Wisdom Has Its Way is a positive message song in the manner of some of Mike's tracks on The Prison, albiet the groove here is funky and street compared to the celestial aura of The Prison, before Mike kicks in the most disco-esque track of the album in his co-composition with James Mynor, Love's First Kiss.
The humorously frantic The Other Room is typical Nez whimsy and a good way to close out the album, yet another artistic home run for ol' Woolhat that unjustly got overlooked by time.
One of the cosmic cowboy's finest albums...
T. LeBaron | NH | 07/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Papa Nez ten years after the whole Monkees phenomenon broke wide open, and he's about as diverse as anyone can imagine. From the classic "Rio" (which gave him worldwide notoriety in the video field") to "Casablanca Moonlight" with all the elements of what Nez fans have come to expect, this is a fine package of tunes that sounds like it was practically effortless to make some really fine music...perfect to wake up to or if you're sitting at your computer...another couple of great places to start if you're curious about the solo works of the Liquid Paper heir: "First National Band Complete" which includes the 1970 hit "Joanne", the country rocker "Nevada Fighter" and everyone's other Nez favorite "Silver Moon"...or, if you want to hear him in full tilt boogie mode, pick up a copy of "Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma" (half of whose tunes are included in video form on his legendary "Elephant Parts" video).
Any of these albums are a great place to discover just how diverse the Monkee from Texas has really been over the years.
What A Joy To Hear!
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 12/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wish I knew the best way to describe the music of Michael Nesmith to the novice. The best I can put to it,at least with this album would be a soft country-rock sound with strong elemements of singer-songwriter pop and some R&B,pop-jazz and some nice funky bass on top of that. This is the sound that permeates "Rio",the starter for this album and the song Nesmith is most remembered for. And at 7 minutes plus you get a lot of bang for your buck. The beauty part is that the songs sound is so good that Nesmith keeps it up for the rest of the album."Casablanca Moonlight" and "Navajo Trail" are great songs too and even though Weldon Myrick is on pedal steel instead of Red Rhodes it still sounds nice. Nesmith himself is in great voice on these songs,even when he ups the tempo on the peppy closer "The Other Room". While nothing here is as dancable or hard rocking as Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma the charm and warmth of these songs make this an album you'll want to put on and finish-with no regrets in between. One thing that can be said for Nesmith is,unlike The Monkees he was more then album to release consistant full lengh albums time after time and this one sure fits the bill."