CD REVIEW: Resolute by Matt Michaelis

Matt Michaelis is an eclectic rock and pop artist, with a number-of guest-musicians on his album – Resolute. These musicians include drums and singing, with Michaelis doing the rest, because of reasons such as losing his singing voice. This is ultimately why he employed what involves a list of vocalists and drummers that also include the album’s producer, Rich Bischoff. More information about the drummers and which songs they play on can be found online, but these singers all get their due mention in the song titles, including said producer. Matt Michaelis is also a producer himself, so that scores well for Bischoff.

To get things in motion, the tracks are kick started by the appearance of Rachel Dee Minyard, with “How Long” in the lead-off position on what is a journey of various-different styles and genres. Most of which creatively stick to a rock and pop thread, give or take a few exceptions that still mix well throughout. Rachel Dee Minyard, like all the voices on Resolute, is a force to reckon with and a great choice to make the first vocal impression with. But there’s a lot more musical-miles to go and it does go the entire distance and then some from here. But you can- never count out a grand opening salvo like this one.

“Running From The Law” is an interesting song in so many ways it’s impossible to go into with limited space, but it’s where producer Rich Bischoff makes his vocal appearance, and makes it well because for everything the album has going for it, this track is one of, if not the most musically adventurous and catchy. And that goes to show how well the producer and songwriter work as a team. I couldn’t get enough of this track alone, it makes the whole album worth anyone’s time. I could take nine of these and be enormously satisfied, but seven others to balance it out is also more value than you can ask for.

One of the other biggest vocal contributions comes from Naomi Aruajo on “Bricks For Feet” with a funk/rock vibe. She slays it from beginning to end, with a sizzling showcase of rhythm & blues. Matt Michaelis is influenced by artists like Trombone Shorty and others, which is probably where this and other tracks come in. His guitar style swings from one genre to the next, keeping a lot of rock and funk in the center of it all. This song has all-of the above down to a science. It fuses the blues with R&B without being too bluesy, and adds a rock edge, which is essentially what make up most of the great funk there is to be had.

The difference between the former and what comes next could not be more night and day, but that’s what’s so good about “Move On Out” with vocals by Quinn Brown. This is a moment that keeps the album’s momentum going at just the right pace. It’s a fabulous rock tune that got an honorable mention in the 2014 Songdoor ‘Hard Rock’ category. The guitars paly at some of the fastest speed on this one, with a sonically different sound from the rest of the variety to enjoy. And there is a lot of that to be heard and explored about them and Michaelis which culminates into the instrumental closer “Serenity, The Rabid Whale” which also helps earn it top marks.


by Jeff Turner

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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