MICHAEL CARPENTER - Big Radio

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" 4.5 stars of 5. Carpenter’s latest is a rich palette of modern pop suffused with a golden glow and wrapped in swooning harmonies. Carpenter uses the studio the way the Cheyenne used the buffalo. He let’s no part go to waste. It is a radio-friendly sound that harks back to the Brill Building and Phil Spector. Which is not to say it doesn’t rock. It rocks like an adult, not a punk. “I Kissed A Girl” is a sweet, Billy Joel-like meditation with a Beach Boys-like choir. Carpenter never writes a one or two chord song. The hook on “I’ve Been Loving You” hits you like a wrecking ball, while “Father” is saved from preciousness by the strong melody.

The caramel-voiced Carpenter sings with Billy Joel intensity on “The Only One.” His “Chrissie Hynde” is an instant classic in paeans to other songwriters (like the Replacements’ “Alex Chilton,”) and “She’s In Love With Herself” is destined to become a classic, another trenchant, Billy Joel-type observation." - Pop Geek Heaven