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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Mike Conway
The Broken Wing Line (CD-R)

Man, I've discovered something. These CDs I get. They don't just review themselves. If you don't listen to them they just sit there. Collecting dust. Here's one from the pile, it's Mike Conway's The Broken Wing Line. 4 songs. Nice, nice acoustic folk rock. That first song "Devil In My Head" is a real gem, starting off with a bright acoustic guitar with Conway's sorta lilting troubadour voice wrapping things together. Later there's added keyboard strings and a harmony vocal. The overall presentation reminds me of one of Shmat's faves, Boxborough, but maybe not as immediately arresting. Next up is "The Way It Is" (no, it's not Bruce Hornsby) and "Each Time She Cries". I thought these two were decent folky songs, but kinda similar sounding. Didn't stand out to me as much. "The Funeral" has an interesting triplet against straight rhythm that differentiates it from the previous two. The beginning of the closer, "Uno Momento" is reverbed out and contains a lot of reversed stuff. The 2nd part of this song is sung more stridently and strummed more heavily, with some strange vocals underground at times. This is definitely the most experimental track on the disc.

Yeah, I know the entire singer 'n acoustic guitar field is so cluttered, but Conway does a pretty good job here presenting his stuff. It's not Bright Eyes and it's not Badly Drawn Boy. Neither over the top, nor super lush. Not as boring as some similar things I've heard. I don't know why, I guess the poise does it for me. He doesn't need to rip it up all the time like the Jeff Buckley clones, but he does make it a little emotional. Good balance, good stuff.

- review by SHORTY (4.25.04)        

Mike Conway

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