Jeff Michaels Townie Paradise

Jeff Michaels – Townie Paradise – album review

Jeff Michaels Townie ParadiseI was introduced to Jeff Michaels by his U.S. based PR company.  I confess that I had not come across his music before but hey we all like to hear new things so I popped over to Jeff’s website to check out his bio and learn a little about him before settling down to check out his new album.

It seems that even if you aren’t familiar with Jeff’s name, there is a good chance you have heard his music as his songs have been licensed to over a dozen television shows. Jeff was also a member of pop band Luce, whose music appeared on a couple of major movie soundtracks.

On the first listen I was reminded very much of Billy Joel and maybe Paul Simon.  Michaels songs have that sort of american piano soft-rock feel that Joel was so famous for and with frequent references to “high-school” romance and U.S. pop culture i initially thought that Townie Paradise was going to prove to be a sort of schmooze “all-american, sweet as cherry pie” sort of a record.  You know what I mean, inoffensive, pleasant background music but hardly thought provoking or challenging.

It took a couple of listens before I caught on that Jeff Michaels does not fall into that category at all.  The soft-rock patina hides an altogether deeper story.  One that is not afraid to lift the rocks and stare into the underbelly of hatred, prejudice and discrimination that seems to be so prevalent in today’s society.  His songs are also self deprecating, humorous and at times political.  In fact the humour is so good that at times I found myself getting some very odd looks as I giggled to myself whilst out walking the dogs.

Townie Girls is an amusing social commentary but it is when you get to “Same F’ing Sun” that you really begin to understand where Michaels is coming from.  The song talks about the social exclusion experienced by minority groups, even going so far as to drawing comparisons between social exclusion and the holocaust.

Top of the world” draws some delicious imagery when it has you “kicking the monsters back under the bed.”  There is of course more than passing nod to love’s found and lost, it may seem a little sickly sweet at times but lines like “Thats the kind of love that you don’t F**k with” amused me no end.

After a couple of listens I found myself falling in love with this album.  Once I understood the honour in the songs I began to really enjoy it and to listen more intently.  Perhaps bizarrely I finished up imagining Michaels as a sort of cross between Billy Joel and Weird Al Yankovic, that image alone makes it worth the effort of getting to know Jeff Michaels and Townie Paradise.

Townie Paradise is self released June 23.  You can order the album here and check out a free download too.

Jeff Michaels website is here, he is on Facebook and he Tweets as @jmichaelsrocks

If you are so inclined you could support Jeff’s Pledge campaign for this album

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

One thought on “Jeff Michaels – Townie Paradise – album review

  1. Pingback: The Sound Of Summer Reviews Jeff Michaels’ Townie Paradise Album | Muddy Paw PR

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