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David - 1995 Journey To Poexula

ALBUM: Journey To Poexula
LABEL: Private
YEAR: 1995
SPONSOR: David Mikeal


LINEUP: David Mikeal - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Danny Baldrich - guitars * Bill Gifford - bass * David Tinny - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Destroy Our Future * 02 On The Edge * 03 This Could Be * 04 Out Of Control * 05 Paperback Writer * 06 Wherever You Are * 07 Magic One * 08 Step On The Gas * 09 Without Your Love * 10 Breakdown The Wall * 11 Stay With You * 12 Best Friends Forever


Regular readers here will know of pomp band MPG and their cracking one-shot album from 1981. Ironic really, considering the band had a record deal that would see a few more albums released. As the wise old prophet of doom came hurtling down from the skies, any thoughts and notions toward future prospective MPG material got whisked away as fast as a curious onlooker trespassing on Area 51! And in keeping with all things mysterious and alien, why is it then that guitarist/songwriter David Mikeal (from which this band owes its name) is not better known in the industry as a musician of prodigious talent? That really is a question you should be asking your local Congressman.. I tell you! Perhaps he is other-worldy then, in which case a 'Journey To Poexula' (wherever the heck that might be) may be a place where they recognise talent when they hear it, rather than the majority of sheeple on Planet Urth who think an outfit like the Black Eyed Peas have talent. Actually, the liner notes describes Poexula as a futuristic city where all is positive.

The Songs
David (the band) take a leaf out of the book written by Eric Martin and Mr Big, and though the sound might on occasion veer too close, there is enough variation to avoid the 'copy-cat' tag. The near-pomp arrangements keeps its vibe close to the intended futuristic theme, as evidenced on 'Don't Destroy Our Future'. 'On The Edge' is both fiery and pompy, the little bursts of harmonica probably spoil it somewhat, but not detrimentally so. 'This Could Be' and 'Best Friends Forever' are both lovely mid-tempo ballads in the same region as Dakota, both have smooth elements that contrast the rest of the album. Punchy hard rock is the order of the day with 'Out Of Control', ensuring this album is not entirely a wimpsters collection. For me, the version of 'Paperback Writer' is admirable, though I have to admit, taking a journey back to the sixties is as fantastically pointless as a journey to Poexula! To David's credit this arrangement is fairly rocky.. not my can of lager though. The soaring acoustic ballad of 'Wherever You Are' reaches for the stars in the same way that Boston did years before. The other acoustic piece is 'Without Your Love'.. another melting moment. The terrific hard rock of 'Step On The Gas' throws its tribute at Mr Big while 'Stay With You' is more of a 'rock-out' than AOR.. the guitar riffs from Mikael are way cool, and give the song a heap of attitude. Man if this is supposed to represent the eighties in its prime, then I want it back!

In Summary
All in all, this is a surprisingly solid rock album, and one that should be better known and acknowledged by the AOR community. It does have its quirks but it sits comfortably within that defined space between AOR and straight-forward hard rock. MPG fans take note, and make sure you pop on over to David's site and say hello!

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#1 | AOR Lee on November 24 2012 04:41:56
George, in this review you perfectly summed up my taste in music and the majority of my cd collection when you said 'that defined space between AOR and straightforward hard rock' Thumbs Up

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