Mick Rowe may be an independent artist, but he's no rookie to rock music. Rowe's been making music since the 80's and has been involved in projects with Tempest, Plush, Goliath, and Midnight Orchestra. Summertime is Mick's latest musical venture, offering a modern rock sound that's strong and confident, with vocals reminiscent of his younger brother Jamie Rowe (Guardian / London Calling) and Ozzy Osbourne.
The themes on Summertime range from praise and worship ("Please Save Me," "Control") to love and relationships ("Be With You," "Long Red Hair"), keeping it fresh and varied. The production is quality, co-produced by Rowe himself and former Lovewar / Channel Surfers member Tim Bushong. "Illuminate" is one of the strongest cuts on the record, with Mick pushing the range of his vocals in a way that would surely make his little brother proud. While Mick has tried his hand at metal and even gothic rock in the past, this classic modern rock approach works nicely. This is especially true on the experimental worship song "Angels Sing," which mixes an electronic drum beat with acoustic guitars and haunting vocals. Mick also tries his hand at the memorable 80's tune "Don't You Forget About Me," successfully capturing the feel of the original while, at the same time, updating it.
Overall, Mick has put together a great collection of upbeat modern rock tunes, proving he's still got something to offer after all these years. If you liked any of Rowe's past ventures, Guardian, some of Ozzy's later work, or are just a fan of powerful rock n' roll, you'll want to check out Summertime.- Review date: 05/30/04, written by John DiBiase
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