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CD Reviews:  Mike Farley: Blue

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Mike Farley, a veteran of Cleveland's local music scene and currently one of its brightest stars, should continue to rake in critical acclaim with the release of his fourth full-length album, Blue. An admitted fan of rock/pop mainstays like the Goo Goo Dolls and Better Than Ezra, the Long Island native draws from several musical influences while still managing to generate an album that's pure Mike Farley, complete with his often painful lyrics, signature voice and plenty of hooks to snare anyone who simply enjoys quality music.

Blue starts off with a solid up-tempo tune called "17 Regrets" before gliding into one of the album's finer points, "Spread These Wings," featuring background vocals from Farley's fiancée, Jennifer Preisler. After just one listen, I found myself humming the chorus nearly two hours later, proving that the song and, on a grander scale, the entire album are both crammed with staying power. The third track, "Disguise," is a keyed-up romp through the aftermath of failed love while "Sort of Strangers" will ring true to anybody who's ever gone through the pitfalls of a long-distance relationship. "Cinderella" is another memorable song that's propped up by a fantastic chorus that'll bounce around inside your head for days, and on "Way Back Then," Farley proudly flashes his Goo-Gooish influences.

But Mike's at his best when he tones it down a couple notches on "Blue," "Right Now" and, most notably, "Fall," a stunning song written four years ago that, incredibly, never found its way onto one of Farley's three previous releases. With just an acoustic guitar keeping him company on "Fall," Mike admits, "I'm not the kind of person / To guess it all without a clue / But I would move a mountain / If you said that's how to get to you." Coming on the heels of several songs that deal with heartbreak and loss, "Fall" seems to be Farley's way of turning his back on those painful memories for good, serving as a brilliantly poignant ribbon on an inspired package of songs.

Now sure, we'd love to keep Mike, who also doubles as's music editor, as happy as possible but this review is nonetheless pure and unbiased. If you're tired of hearing the same 15 songs on the radio day after boring day, or if you're just looking for a great modern rock disc, then pick this one up at Blue is one of those albums that, if it doesn't immediately grab you by the earlobe and pull you in, just give it a couple more spins because, soon enough, Farley's talent and passion for his music will completely win you over. 

~Jamey Codding : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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