Review of A New Life
At first listen, I thought the voice didn't match the music. I thought the words were flat and shallow. Lucky for me, I kept listening. In the passing of years, I have relied more and more on first impressions. This album gave me a jolt back to the truth: Everything and everyone has more to give than what is shown at first glance. This is not to say that Michael Caufield's album, "A New Life," gives a bland first impression. In fact, this album has a lot to offer right at the get-go.
Caufield leads the music with a throaty, wordy vocal style that sings and speaks the language of the perspicacious poet as well as that of the surfer dude. It is avant-garde and earthy. The instrumental style is robust. It is as if all of the instruments are reaching out to be part of the universe, not just the embodiment of a song. Most of the instruments are played by Caufield, but Todd Gray keeps the album flowing with the essential rhythm, and Kristina Musaliov adds some background vocals.
Sometimes in an album, it is apparent that music is the focal point of the artist. However the lyrics are as much a part of Michael Caufield's presentation as the music. Depth of thought is a constant companion to the soaring musical style in "A New Life." From the tale of a dreamer defying his means in "It's Everyone's Birthday" to a sarcastic, satirical song about the boogie man whose gonna get you "If You're Not in Bed Tonight," each song has a story of poetic nature, and full of imagination.
Michael Caufield has created an album of originality and accessibility. Any who enjoyed The Stone Roses, Pavement, or James, will find something to enjoy in "A New Life." It is an album for individual thinkers, who revel in breaking the norm. Tear down the walls, and check out this album.
Erica Parfit - The Missoulian (Missoula, MT) (Sep 26, 2002)