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I Blame You

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Album Review

There is something immediately likable and catchy about Michael Shelley's pop tunes on I Blame You. Sort of like a young Elvis Costello covering Ben Folds Five territory. The rich melodies of "Mix Tape" and "Stoop Sale" evoke images of new love and love gone bad, and seem designed to extract precious emotions from the listener. The dreamy "Face in My Pocket" covers the joys of carrying a photograph — a face — in one's pocket, while "Dear Mr. Webster" reveals the limitations of a dictionary to describe a new attraction. The arrangements vary quite a bit, adding horns on several cuts and pedal steel to others. There's a lovely duet with Laura Cantrell on "Let's Fall in Hate" that works as both a good country song and a send-up of the genre. One the best songs among good songs is "Listening to the Band," a melancholy tale of a wild romance turned sour, perfectly brought to fullness by Leif Artzen's trumpet. Shelley romantically captures the sadness and elation of each song, singing with conviction and assurance. The writing — 99% of it by Shelley — is finely honed; in fact, the lyrics fit so well with each song that they call little attention to themselves. I Blame You passes the listener by quickly, like a nice summer breeze full of memories. It's a lovely release by a confident artist, and will be welcome by his fans and anyone who loves appealing pop music. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Best version of don't fence me out.

awesome lyrics.


Genre: Pop

New York-based folk-pop singer/songwriter Michael Shelley made his solo debut in 1997 with Half Empty; early the following year, he also teamed with Scotland's Francis McDonald in the duo Cheeky Monkey, issuing the LP Four Arms to Hold You. Shelley's second solo offering, Too...
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I Blame You, Michael Shelley
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