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19-11-2017 09:44
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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Breen, Michael - 1987 Michael Breen
Breen, Michael - 1987 Michael Breen

ARTIST: Breen, Michael
ALBUM: Michael Breen
LABEL: Alert
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: Michael Breen - vocals * Sass Jordan - backing vocals * Album Personnel - unlisted

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rain * 02 Risky * 03 High And Low * 04 SOS Emotion * 05 How Will I Know * 06 So Long * 07 Face To Face * 08 Do It * 09 All The Way * 10 How Will I Know (Reprise)

There's not too many individuals out there in AOR-land that remain a biographical mystery to me. Canadian Michael Breen would be an exception though, his one off album punctuated 1987 with barely a hiss and a roar, though remained a collectible item many years later. Why I'm not so sure. There are numerous references to other similar artists. Throw in Garnett Ford, Brian Spence, Larry Gowan and Diamond In The Rough, and you can see clearly the palette is well coloured. However, it doesn't mean the quality is retained throughout. It's up and down in places, and comes off a bit inconsistent, but when Breen is firing, it's a good sound.

The Songs
Michael leads off with 'Rain', which ebbs and flows with uncertainty. The mandolin sounding parts on the chorus are different but the track isn't the strongest of starts. 'Risky' is much better, taking on a Garnett Ford styled tone, the melodies are good and the guitar is more prominent. The ballad 'High And Low' goes nowhere unfortunately, whereas the party pop/rock of 'SOS Emotion' reminds me of Pseudo Echo during this same era. Another ballad 'How Will I Know' also fails to strike home and it's left to a mid-paced rocker 'So Long' to rectify matters. One of the better tracks here is 'Face To Face', similar to the pop/AOR peddled by fellow Canadians Diamond In The Rough - which is not a bad thing at all! 'Do It' is the sort of tune you hear blasted out by any pub rock band you'd care to mention, while the sound on 'All The Way' is studio bound fare, with keys and carefully layered guitars in all the right spots.

In Summary
Listening to this, I came away with mixed feelings. After being told by many this was a great album, I will learn to trust my own instincts in this regard. 'Michael Breen' the album disappoints in much the same way that fellow Canadians Simon Chase and Flyte did. There is very little out there on the Internet regarding Michael and this album, though you may get an association with either The Breits or The Box, both bands were also signed to the Alert Records label at the time. An OK release, but don't be fooled by the high prices this may be sold for on the open market - because the hype does not match the end result.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on March 11 2008 23:11:22
Thanks for reviewing this cd. I've always wondered about it but didn't really want to fork out the big bucks for it . Like Brett Walker's Nevetheless, or Glen Stace's Buddah there never was enough buzz about them to peak my interest. If it is indeed like Brian Spence's Brothers then I'll wait and pick it up if I see it on a 'please take these off our hands' rack.
#2 | swazi on November 21 2011 22:45:00
This CD was recently sold on eBay for $120! Wow!
#3 | gdazegod on April 07 2016 08:21:14
Michael Breen - 1987 How Will I Know
YouTube Video:
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