Michael Shelley didn’t have a huge budget to record I Blame You, but they say a good song is a good song, and nowhere is that more true than here.
“Mix Tape” is a good laugh at reaching for someone desired. Shelley has a distinctive sound, but also reminds me a lot of the amazingly almost unknown group Fountains Of Wayne. And it’s not just the vocals but the quirkiness, great hooks, and overall happy-go-lucky track after track.
“Dear Mr. Webster” finds Shelley looking to have his girl added to the dictionary. The tempo hops along at a pronounced toe-tapping pace that would tire even the fittest. “Stoop Sale” tells of those things that cannot be sold no matter the price. “Don’t Fence Me Out” will seem familiar, but the country glide is all you need to get sucked in. It seems Shelley has quite a country side to him. “Let’s Fall In Hate” is a hillbilly gem whereas “Listening To The Band” explores more south of the border.
Michael Shelley proves that you don’t need to carry around a big record contract in order to have a really good album. The fact that he isn’t signed to one of the big boys proves that good music is still being made and not watered down by the industry.
+ charlie craine