Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Between a View of the Moon by Mike Ramsey

     It was about eight months ago when we last heard from singer/songwriter Mike Ramsey. At that time he was pushing his online fundraising campaign so that he could release his first studio project. We're now on the tail end of January, and Ramsey just released his album Between a View of the Moon, (the final product from that campaign) and although it's merely a five-track EP, this North Carolina based artist made sure to give the listeners the biggest bang for their buck.

     Frequent readers of the site may be accustom to the indie hip-hop material that is commonly reviewed, however, we're going to switch gears with this one, as Between a View of the Moon has a very John Mayer-esqe sound that closely aligns with the Rock/Americana genre.

     It's the detail put into the instrumentation that makes this bluesy rock project stand out. The smooth acoustic riffs by Ramsey run both clean and pure as subtle trumpets, saxophones, and organs can be heard throughout. Not only that, but this short EP has both great musical depth and versatility on each and every track, making for a wonderful listening experience. 

      For example, The album's lead single "Amelia Claire" offers an upbeat rhythm, a repetitive yet catchy riff, and some great piano sounds giving it that "radio" appeal. While on one of the album's slower tracks, "Oscar Daniels" it is the mellowed, foot tapping groove and timely horns that will have listeners nodding their heads and grinning as they intake the smooth tune.

     While Ramsey's voice isn't the most polished, he is never out of key nor does it make this album hard to listen to. In fact, his natural voice blends well with the down-to-earth feel of the music, and his voice will really grow on listeners as time goes on. That being said, Mike's vocals are good, but his lyrics...well they're pretty freakin' great!

     Ramsey's ability to tell a story or convey his emotions within his lyrics seems somewhat effortless. He just appears to have an innate ability to write songs, and that testament is proved true by the previously mentioned "Oscar Daniels." On the surface, this track tells the heartbreaking and emotional story of a man with a painting that he's really proud of, except no one will come out to see it. However, on the deeper level, this is a track about the depreciation of art of all forms in today's world. In my opinion, this is the best track on the EP hands down. Actually, I'd go as far to say that this is the best song I've heard in 2015.

     Additionally, there is just something to be said about an artist who doesn't simply sing the cliche' "she broke my heart" song, and literally state that a girl broke their heart. On Between a View of the Moon, Ramsey takes a different approach to that very subject with his song "Crown and Water" and if you ask me, that tittle alone should tell you how cool the actual track is. (Note: This song will be stuck in your head for hours)

     Consisting of only five-tracks leaves no room for error or even a sub-par song. It's like in school when you take a quiz, if the quiz is only five questions long, and you only got three questions right, well you got a sixty, and that's not too good by most standards. Thankfully, however, Ramsey did not disappoint. Not every song is great (other than Oscar Daniels of course) but every song is good and above average. Heck, even the album's weaker song "Comin' Up Down the Road" is still a really solid tune and it serves as a wonderful intro to the EP!

     Although the instrumentation is great, it's the vocals and lyrics that serve as the backbone to this project. Ramsey put his talent on full display, and the end result is really solid five-song EP. As stated earlier, there is a lot of depth and versatility on Between a View, and that means that there should be a little something for everyone to enjoy. Do yourself a favor and go snag this album, then come back and comment what you thought of the record!

Get this album on ITunes by clicking on the icon 

Between a View of the Moon is also available for streaming on spotify!



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