Review – Michael Bernard Fitzgerald

LP: I Wanna Make It With You
Release Date: March 11, 2016
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Genre: Alternative Rock/Pop

Calgary musician, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, is bringing back his version of acoustic/funk/soul music with the release of his third LP, I Wanna Make It With You.  The title track was released as the album’s first single in November and is currently sitting at #26 on the Canada-Alternative Chart.

The album offers a mix of upbeat songs with pounding drum and bass rhythms that are a throwback to the legends of the 80’s and 90’s, like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams.  The album also has a few down-tempo ballads that show the range of his vocal dynamics.

Listeners are welcomed to the soundscapes of I Wanna Make It With You with the warm guitar sounds, throaty reverb and heavy synth of its prelude track, “Forward”.   Its slow, trance-like melody quietly prepares the palate before the album quickly changes gears with two catchy tunes, “Fire and Rain” and “This Isn’t It”.

“Fire and Rain” features heavy guitar and one haunting bass line.  Paired with heartfelt lyrics, this song has the potential to rise through the charts as a very radio-worthy follow-up single to “I Wanna Make It With You”.

“This Isn’t It” stood apart from the other songs on the album as being the most fun and danceable electro-pop track.  With hints of the alternative-pop sounds of Canadian duo, Tegan and Sara, this song provides the most motivation for me to abandon the coziness my album listening experience to get up and groove along to its infectious rhythm.

Where I think Michael Bernard Fitzgerald has the most potential to make waves in the Canadian music scene is with his acoustic jams like “Burn With You” and “Temptation”.  Fitzgerald’s smooth vocals, which remind me of a fusion of Ryan Adams and Dallas Green, are perfectly suited for the brooding, yet sweltering, delivery of these two songs.  “Temptation” was an absolute highlight on the album.  It features beautiful chord progressions and melodies that were underpinned by layers of lux instrumentation, including a haunting strings section.

Although I Wanna Make It With You strays from the heavier genres of music that I am usually drawn to, it will definitely be put into regular rotation on my playlist.

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