Michael Burrows – “Please Don’t Cry” – Single Review
Michael Burrows…sir…the world is yours to win.
This is one of those rare and blissful cases where you can’t hear the Nashville-effect taking over the artist and their natural sound. As far as I knew when I had started this review and listened to the track a few times, Michael was from Australia…which I suppose is still the case of course…but he was recently kickin’ it in Nashville in the ol’ music-mecca of the USA and finishing up a brand-new EP. Even reading that, I could feel the hairs on my neck start to bristle at the very idea that the infamous city could potentially try to claim another artist with perspective of his own and turn it into everyone else. For the strong & resistant, you can go there and get the best assistance known to mankind to help bring your music & career to the next-level…but for those without their own voice or identity established…man, that city will eat you for breakfast & send you right out through the pipelines into the sea of sameness. Most of you who read these pages on the regular already know my feelings on Nashville…but if this is Michael’s first visit here, I also feel like it’s my sworn duty to remind him to never forget what brought him there in the first place – him – and to encourage the guy to protect what’s made him special all along. Because they’ll try to take ‘it’ if they can dear readers, dear friends…and I’m tellin’ ya…on “Please Don’t Cry” you can hear that this guy has always had ‘it’ – so they had better let him keep what he came in the door with! As far as I know from what I’ve read & researched, he’s now safely back at home in Melbourne, having fully survived the Nashville experience with his soul intact, sounding better than ever. So there you have it, every so often, life works the way it should.
Did the city of Nashville enhance and refine the material? Probably – but that’s exactly why you wanna go there. Bottom line is, Michael Burrows went into the place as himself and still came out the same way afterwards – they’ve likely helped in rounding out the corners, but the essence of the songwriter that came from Australia still remained, as it should. An artist with a clear gift for melody, rhythm, and smoother-than-smooth vocal-flow, Michael has maximized the potential for his new EP and certainly for its lead-single “Please Don’t Cry” by putting himself in the best position possible to get the music out there. If enlisting the assistance you need to make it all happen means traveling the globe to get it…if the music really means EVERYTHING to you…then so be it, make it happen, pack your bags & get going like Michael did. The results of this single absolutely speak for themselves – it’s a brilliantly sweet cut from the production to the performance and truly radiates melody from every pore your speakers have to provide. Michael’s got comparisons to Ron Sexsmith & Wilco in the past, which are certainly apt, maybe a bit of The Beatles & The Wallflowers as well…you get the idea…that Pop/Rock/Indie sound with hints of wisdom and a slight bend towards Americana, Psych-Pop & classic grooves in the music…you can hear the quintessential entertainer in his performance on “Please Don’t Cry.” It’s clear to me from this single that Michael not only has a great grip on his own songwriting, style, & sound – but that he really understands what makes music connect overall, both as a creator and a fan. You can hear the sincerity in the sound of the melody and the words as Michael sings this so flawlessly…he’s comfortable & capable, right in the pocket for what works so clearly well for him. He’s got great tone, great energy…and I think for a ton of people out there, this alt-indie-folk-ish shiny tune has quite a bit to offer and a ton of crossover appeal. There’s also a slight playfulness to this vibe that really works with the bending notes of the guitars and bouncy bass-lines running through this song…kind of like a Fountains Of Wayne approach where you get that clarity of the sensational Pop-inspired hooks but at the same time can hear that genuine respect for what makes melody come out sounding sincere. Which I suppose has really been my point all along – they can teach you a ton of things in Nashville, but they can’t teach sincerity worth a damn – you’ve gotta come with that…and Michael makes that connection between his vocals and music sound as humble, natural, and organic as it could possibly be. My point is that what made him great to begin with was what he brought with him to Nashville…it probably just sounds better now; but what I’m ultimately saying is that what makes Michael Burrows a star is the kind of thing you just can’t be taught, it’s inside you or it isn’t – and you can hear in every flawless move he makes through “Please Don’t Cry” that he was born to be a musician, truly. I mean, the dude’s already recorded songs with the legendary Neil Finn from Crowded House…he’s also recently supported the inimitable Martha Wainwright on tour…I’d say he’s doing mighty fine if you ask me! Clearly everything is headed in the right direction for Michael.
Makes perfect sense to me and my ears. From the moment “Please Don’t Cry” began, I felt like there was no possibility of resisting its charm and alluring sound – and hey, what do you know, I was right. Every once in a while I get an opportunity to listen to something that I feel like I’d genuinely want to exist on my own playlist outside of reviewing music all the time, and I definitely felt that strongly about the tenderized tune Michael’s got here. There’s something magical & comforting about the vibe in this guy’s music that really stands out in all the right ways. Definitely no complaints from me about this single-worthy song…I think he’s gotten the absolute best out of the potential for this melody, found the perfect gear, tempo, pace, and sound for the music supporting his vocals, and his singing/songwriting is spot-on here. It’s gentle…”Please Don’t Cry” isn’t going to punch your face like an over-commercialized hit will try to…it’s much more like a warm invite into sincerity in sound and a soul-satisfying introduction into the music of Michael Burrows. I’d listen to more of what this guy’s got with no hesitation at all.
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