Label: Sun Hill/Playground 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
"Care Of My Soul Vol.2" - obviously the sequel to Vol.1 (duh!) and the brand new recording by the multi-talented U.S. songwriter and musician. Mister Mark Spiro is indeed responsible for absolutely everything on the record from programing (drums), keyboards, guitars, to vocals and production. It's nearly close to pro-tools overkill with several samples and processed vocals that at times will have Spiro sounding like Jamiroquai? It's the utterly clean and sterile production and hardly the earthy sound of the ancient westcoast platters.
But don't get me wrong, I'm not personally taking a stand against all modern production and evolution. However, I know that some of you may not appreciate the lack of proper musicians and especially the drummer. Then again, drummers were never really musicians in the first place and I nearly tend to agree with Simon 'Tw@t' Cowell on the subject? Yes? No? Hands up if you're into drummers? Ehem, pardon me Rick Allen, that's hand up.
Spiro combine witty, intelligent lyric with the undying passion to explore. The only problem is his inability to stick to a more defining sound. Instead he's all over the place with westcoast tracks, quirky electronic beats, and processed vocals that merely the pre-teen would/could find intriguing in the long run. The album also seems to suffer from a severe pace problem but that's laidback rock for you.
Strangely enough, one of my favorite tracks, "Love Don't Come Around Here Anymore", the most outrageous trip of them all and almost like the weird music competition between Jamiroquai and Peter Gabriel. "Up In Flames", mixes Nik Kershaw and Jamiroquai melodies while others such as, "A Beautiful Mistake", or the fantastic, "Paper Dragons", pure soft-rock heaven in the vein of Lawrence Gowan, Richard Marx, and Spiro. Final verdict: Vol.2 is like the emotional rollercoaster with many ups and downs and you might need a barf break?