It happens many times for those of us that truly go searching for our music, and each time is just as good as the last. Discovery of an awesome new talent to get your teeth into is arguably the best ‘high’ there is, and those of us that do delve deeper (I would definitely count those of you reading this review among them) can probably name all of the artists that, upon that first listen, such a feeling came over us. At this time I am formerly adding Midé, via his new album ‘E.G.’, to my list.
The man’s voice is a dream, but power is definitely not the game plan. Midé is a vocal interpretation of Muhammad Ali, floating like a butterfly through the verses and (mildly) stinging like a bee on the hooks. There is a slight raspy quality that will win many a female fan, but it is the consistent feel good vibe of his voice that is the knockout part of the combination. Yet to top it all off is the effortlessness and effervescence with which Midé puts all of those elements together.
Even when emotionally things get a little testing, on songs like ‘Hello Before Goodbye’ and Midé’s ode to his father ‘Holding On’, sonically E.G. is a long player of goodwill. This is largely down to the fact that most of the songs are driven by an infectious acoustic guitar while the bass cheerfully plays the background. The stupendously adorable (should a man be using such words?), simply executed and positive message of ‘Try‘, with one of the loveliest acoustic guitar licks I have heard for quite a while, is a great example. The bouncy, animated audile of ‘Wind Chimes’ and ‘Face The Music‘ are also high points among an album that is chock full of them.
For me, the pinnacle was reached when the Reggae/Ska laced jam ‘Any Which Way‘ hit my speakers. It’s as virulent as all songs of this nature should be and will no doubt be a highlight for fans lucky enough to catch Midé, on his first upcoming live tour. Not only is this the high point in its own right but it also serves to highlight my favourite part of all top quality albums. Their ability to retain a common thread for the listener to easily identify with, but to also vary what is going on around that thread.
I did find one low point among all these highs. ‘Wait for you‘ is another lovely acoustic number and Midé has found a tandem for the duet in Bianca Rose that fits like a glove. But man o man the cheesy trading of love lines on the hook, even on an album as invested in love as E.G., is way too schmaltzy for my taste; but the fact that this is all I could find to put a dampener on speaks volumes.
E.G. has it all, changes of pace, changes of tempo and changes of genre. Not only does Midé portray a side of men that we only ever show the one we love one on one, he also shows our vulnerability too. Too many of today’s contemporaries depict men as the love aggressor in all situations when that is obviously not the case. Midé has simply approached the subject as he would in life and E.G. is all the better for it. An irrefutable, vivacious debut that with the right push could be really big.