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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » Spiro, Mark - 2012 It's A Beautiful Life
 
Spiro, Mark - 2012 It's A Beautiful Life



ARTIST: Spiro, Mark
ALBUM: It's A Beautiful Life
LABEL: AOR Heaven
SERIAL: AORH00069
YEAR: 2012

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Mark Spiro - vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming * John McLennon - guitars on 'Might As Well Be Me' and 'Everything I Do'.

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's A Beautiful Life * 02 I Know Who I Love * 03 Come Back To Me * 04 Love Struck Dumb * 05 Go Another Mile * 06 Dance The Lonely Spotlight * 07 Might As Well Be Me * 08 Brand New Beautiful Day * 09 Dream Big, Pray Hard * 10 Everything I Do * 11 A Beautiful Mistake (bonus)

RATING:


Background
Mark Spiro must rank among the most respected guys in the music industry. As a songwriter and recording artist, and particularly in the sub-genres of rock that we enjoy here at GD. Mark's health hasn't been too good over the last few years, but it seems he has recovered enough to grace us with another melodic tidbit called 'It's A Beautiful Life', released on AOR Heaven. It's interesting to note that one can listen to a melodic rock/pop album and not hear a lot of electric guitar, such is the case with this record. Sure, there are guitar parts, but I will say it isn't one of the dominant instruments on the album. Mark is well versed in the MIDI/Sequencing and programming world, so it wouldn't surprise me that everything was laid out in a DAW/software environment. That hardly sounds organic, and musical luddites might take exception to such an approach, but Spiro keeps it lightweight and fresh that you'd hardly notice.


The Songs
Maintaining the same jangly syle of guys like Danny Wilde and Jude Cole, Spiro is a teller of tales in the most understated of ways. It's all harmless stuff as he caresses our ears with gentle pop incursions such as the opening title track or the exquisite Paul Simon like 'Dance The Lonely Spotlight'. The modern pop styling of 'I Know Who I Love' might be a tad commercial and throwaway, while 'Come Back To Me' sounds an ideal fit for country pop diva Taylor Swift. 'Love Struck Dumb' is too introspective and lacking in momentum, a much better recipe is that shown on 'Go Another Mile', which ticks away nicely. 'Brand New Beautiful Day' is similar to the fare that we've previously heard, while 'Dream Big Pray Hard' rocks a bit more than most. I liked 'Everything I Do', which is down the old country road styled mid-west, while the bonus track 'A Beautiful Mistake' is obviously borne of the studio with its clever percussion and orchestral layers.


In Summary
Reading a lot of reviews elsewhere on the Net, the summation is not a good one for Spiro. Many called this boring and lacking in excitement. I wouldn't call it boring as such, but the songs can only shine if there is something to lift it up into the clouds. Sadly there is no solo instruments or solo parts to make that happen. Having a guy like Michael Thompson to add some much needed counterpoints would've given this album such a boost. As it is, 'It's A Beautiful Life' is good for what it is, though in hindsight, it could've been so much better too. A pass mark, but only just.


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