As a long time music critic, I have to admit that after the thousands and thousands of albums which come across my desk, it is easy to become cynical about what is assaulting my ears. The chance of finding that one disc which absolutely blows me away is about the same odds as winning the lottery. Well, I just went and bought me a Mega Million ticket thanks to Mr. Sweet and his almost perfect album I’m Not Your Suicide.
From start to end, Michael manages to uplift, mesmerize and enthrall you with a wide and varied style of music that will absolutely reach down into your being and make you realize his album has something sadly lacking in today’s music…a soul. There is a message here and that message comes right from the heart of Michael and his ideals. Love, spirituality, commitment, belief in one’s self and even what I will call the power of positive thinking are some of the themes that he touches upon. The common factor throughout is one that brings such a positive message it is hard to go away from this album without a smile on your face and the feeling that life is better than you thought! This is some powerful stuff and highly addictive!
He starts off with the song Taking On The World Tonight and with sirens wailing and a heavy guitar pulsating, Michael sets a tone which commands the listener to realize that this is not only a terrific bit of rock and roll, it is the opening salvo of a war on the negative factors of this crazy world and he shows you a much more appealing path. On this track he also had a bit of help from Tony Harnell (ex TNT) who’s vocals stretch into the upper registers much like Sweet’s own abilities. I have to wonder if there is any glass in the studio left after this pair let loose.
From there the album moves through a plethora of musical genres, with each stop as tantalizing as the previous. Powerful anthem rockers (All That’s Left, The Cause, Anybody Else), heat wrenching ballads (How To Live) and even a little country tinge (Heart Of Gold, Coming Home) make this album a delight on so many levels. It will make you think, it will make you feel and also give you a sense of being in a better place by listening to it. It is the disc you will turn to when you need a little bit of cheer. It will definitely put you in a better mood after hearing it.
I have always considered Michael Sweet one of the most amazing singers in rock and roll. As the lead singer of Stryper he has given us some amazing musical moments. There are few that can match his range or ability. On this album he only further supports that idea and it is a treat to listen to this gifted musician perform such a varied treasure trove of songs. I cannot heap enough praise on what he has given us.
You might wonder why then I am only giving this album 4.5 out of 5 stars. There are two reasons. First is the fact that he has put two versions of the classic Neil Young song Heart of Gold on this disc. The first one is him alone and the second is a duet with Dave Mustaine’s daughter Electra. Both are not needed as they are very similar (I prefer the duet). It is a bit of overkill. The second reason is I had to leave some room for his next release. If it is anything like this beast we might have to look at raising the amount of stars we hand out!
Michael Sweet's I'm Not Your Suicide is what music is all about.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]