A Look Into My Heart May Be Michael Egleton's
Most Sophisticated Work To Date
Posted: September 25, 2014 10:27 PM EDT
Its not difficult for jazz on the smoother side of the genre spectrum to easily become background music, drifting into places like lobbies and elevators without an engaged listener in sight.
On July 16th, 2014, Michael released his 4th studio album, A Look Into My Heart, guided by the philosophy that you have to give a piece of you to touch someone else. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows him that this thought inspired Michael to give us a piece of him with A Look Into My Heart, a 13 track record comprised of memorable melodies as well as a wealth of insight into Michaels perspectives on issues surrounding love. From the tongue in cheek and motivating to the consoling and questioning, this album has music for everyone whos ever loved before.
Opening track Im Coming will put wind in anyones sails. Consisting of a pick-me-up, piano-based chord progression repeated throughout the song, Im Coming serves as an energetic announcement for not only Michael on this album, but also for anyone whos determined to accomplish something big. It also sets a precedent for the rest of the record that does not go unmet tight percussion, soaring choir background vocals (no doubt a result of Michaels upbringing and time writing music in the church), supporting organs, an interjecting horn section and an always-present noodling guitar riff that adds a funky flavor into the mix.
Egleton turns things down a notch in track 2, the slow and sultry Baby Baby Baby. Its once more a great example of the musicianship and production talent present on this albumWes McCraw of Creekside Studio and Samuel Haygood of N-DA-Grove Productions manned the boardas all voices dance around one another to eventually form an intricate mosaic of sound. Baby is bluesier than Im Coming, both instrumentally and lyrically, as Egleton pines for the object of his desire to return his attention. Lines like Cant you see I need you / All I want to do is please you / Please here my cry / Some times I feel like I could die are adorned with slick guitar and piano solos that take over when words simply arent enough.
Like My Girl is the first instance of a guest background vocalist on the album as singer Greg Rollins and Egleton trade fantasies about a dream girl each wants to make a wife. Musically, its brighter than Baby but still laid back and groovy. The piece is centered on a catchy plucked strings riff, placed in such a way that its as if its leaving its two cents after every vocal line.
Given its title, it should come as no surprise that things get cheeky in track four, Donk a Donk. The sounds are no less suggestive than the title, and if there was any question remaining as to the songs subject matter, guest rapper Samuel Haygood puts them to rest with rhymes like she got what I want / back that up like a tonka truck.
The album re-enters Egletons traditional territory with Back Into My Heart, a sunny mid-pace track that features an adventurous harmonica and a busy percussion section. All of these moving parts work together to provide the sonic canvas for Egleton to sing about letting a woman back into his heart after a dry spell caused by a fight. Title track Take a Look into my Heart comes next, bringing with it a tropical atmosphere featuring minimal percussion, a smooth acoustic strum pattern and a bed of horns as Michael reminds us of the importance of looking into your significant others heart to unlock the true potential of your love.
If Its Over had a cousin, it would likely be Why Does It Hurt So Bad. Whereas Its Over sent a message of resolved, Why Does It Hurt So Bad sees Michael questioning why the pain of a breakup is so severe and begging for his partner to stay and give him another shot. Still, the music here is not minor by any stretch of the imagination, further adding to the feeling of warmth and resolve that Michaels music constantly emits.
The feel good vibe lumbers forward in the instrumental Orchid Trauma, a funky 5 minute track with an elaborate and pronounced bass line, not to mention a family of riffs and solos across different instruments that play off one another. An instrumental version of Donk a Donk follows Orchid Trauma, and then were greeted with the most menacing track on the record, Playing a Game. Egleton couldnt let the whole album pass without one mention of the unspoken game that takes place in the dating arena.
A Look Into My Heart closes out with two songs that could not be more different from Playing a Game. You and I is an instrumental love story, piano and guitar each singing their own songs in the form of solos and then wedding near the end to play together harmoniously. Hold On To A Song is the purest gospel tune on the record, consisting of nothing but soulful piano chords and deep, wise and mighty vocals from Michael and his backing cast. Life gets tough, we all know that, and its these kind of songs that can pick anyone up and make them feel no less than blessed to be alive. When youre down, hold onto a song and the power of music will see you through. Or as Michael puts it, Until I get a little stronger, I hold onto a song.
The album is a powerhouse from start to finish, and even looks great, too. In an age where album artwork has become an afterthought due to its digitization, A Look Into My Heart comes packaged in a sleeve with a crisp orange and black design, the best part of which is Michaels picture on the cover. A mirrored image of two Michaels sitting next to each other in an identical pose, Egleton appears as if hes contemplating something deep, possibly even looking into his heart and inviting listeners to do the same.
Publicist: Blue Artists