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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » O'Brien, Michael - 1990 Michael O'Brien
O'Brien, Michael - 1990 Michael O'Brien

ARTIST: O Brien, Michael
ALBUM: Michael O'Brien
LABEL: Oceana
SERIAL: 4100-2-Q
YEAR: 1990



TRACK LISTING: 01 Here We Go * 02 Matter Of Time * 03 I'm Over You * 04 I Believe * 05 Hold Your Head Up * 06 Today Is The Day * 07 Wait For You * 08 Why * 09 I Know * 10 Everything To Me


This is a near legendary release which has seen it's value/worth increase over the passing years. Michael is a contender for best kept secret in the world of melodic rock, but he is definitely one major AOR talent who can be classed in the same breath as Paul Sabu and Jeff Cannata. Not to be misunderstood, this is not the same Michael O'Brien who is a popular Christian artist on Benson Records. Different guys altogether. This Michael lives off the coast of Florida (coincidentally like his namesake who also lives in Florida) and has self produced this impressive effort which definitely got the AOR community a buzz upon it's debut in 1990. The Oceana label this album came out on is a very small one, and the Golden Palominos are really the only other notable band on their roster. However the Executive Producer Carl Maduri had assisted other bands in the past, including disco/rock band Wild Cherry (remember them? 'Hot To Trot', 'Play That Funky Music').

The Songs
The album is just on 38 minutes long, but what we do get is a pompy slice of melodic rock, with lots of crisp drums, parping keyboards a la Only Child/Alexa, and guitars on overdrive. The opening pair of 'Here We Go' and 'Matter Of Time' are good enough efforts but things really take off when we kick in with the third track 'I'm Over You'. This people .. is prime cut AOR! This pulses in majestic fashion. 'I Believe' is symphonic rock in much the same vein as Arcangel, while Michael also throws a cover version of Argent's 'Hold Your Head Up' into the mix. 'Today Is The Day' is another wonderful Arcangel like ditty where the guitar and keyboards compete with each other! 'Wait For You' has a very upfront sound, that races along in similar fashion to German band Dominoe. My favourite track however is the last one 'Everything To Me'. Here the keyboards just rock out on overtime parping to their hearts content. For me there's only song that feels out of place and that's the introspective ballad 'Why' vocally and lyrically sounding like a serious Rik Florian from White Heart.

In Summary
Michael is a prolific musician and songwriter, and also runs a booking agency. He has since released another album called 'Its About Time', details of which can be found on his relatively new website (well it's new since I last checked, and I have been hunting for info on him for the best part of 8 years!). If you ever see this CD lying around in a store somewhere, pick it up immediately, because it's not supposed to be lying around in bargain bins. It is an AOR collectors piece.

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#1 | Jez on June 13 2008 23:37:50
Yet another release that went by pretty unnoticed at the time, apart from those with a few handy contacts -a real shame as this is a bit of an AOR gem to be discovered. OK, there is nothing new in it's approach, but good songs are good songs in my book and this has plenty on offer. There is definately something here that raises it above alot of it's peers of the time, so definately gets my seal of approval if you see it.
#2 | reyno-roxx on April 01 2009 20:07:27
I seem to remember getting sent a cassette copy of this album at the time of release and may or may not have reviewed it for K!. Just picked up a CD copy after all this time and have to say how much the guy reminded me of the early 80s band Saint (the AOR outfit, not the Christian Metal band). Great to hear again.
#3 | gdazegod on April 02 2009 00:22:33
He apparently has a few other albums out following this one. Saw them on Kissmar, though I think the links are dead. It seems he has a Christian background too. Bit of a worry that there are two Michael O'Brien's floating about with CCM backgrounds.. hmm!
#4 | jeffduran on April 02 2009 09:52:15
There is a demo release that surfaced a couple years after this. I like this guys AOR sound.
#5 | sabace on December 07 2010 14:08:59
the review is spot on! excellent record .
#6 | gdazegod on January 22 2012 12:40:49
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