An enchanting mix of thoughtful lyrics and uplifting melodies characterizes Mike Brunacini’s work.
“Return to Allen Park” reinforces his style with new additions alongside tracks from previous releases.
In this album, Mike flirts with the topics of destiny, confusion and more. There’s telling truism tinged with a melancholy shade of hope and each track feels weighted with meaning. It’s a journey of an album. A road borne somewhere, in the middle of nowhere…
“The path I used to know…”
“Allen Park,” the album’s titular opening track, carries a bit of raw guitar-driven raunch without going harsh. All the song’s elements are seated neatly, no crowding, and it makes for a solid listen. As a bonus, it turns up later in the album in acoustic form.
Of the two, the acoustic version feels most cohesive and naturally suited to Mike’s voice, but the first version’s bass hits all the right places.
There are a number of instrumental tracks in this album; nice touches that build the atmosphere of it all.
One such track, “Balloon Release,” takes an intricate approach – parlaying emotions purely through guitar.
“Preordained” demonstrates Brunacini’s songwriting talent in full. The lyrics are thoughtful and ornate and its outro plays like a breath of wild air on a lake-front; flute over guitar.
“Alibi” brings to mind Al Stewart and Gerry Rafferty. It’s a lounge piece fit for regular radio play. Mellow, meaningful and understated…
“Hit Man” opens to a rolling drum break which cascades into a jogging chorus. The acoustic version goes without the lead guitar licks, but keeps the energy.
“Stillwater Sound,” another instrumental track, is wordless rumination stretched across plucked notes on guitar. It’s a lullaby by candlelight.
“Headlights” comes complete with a nuanced melody driven by piano. Brunacini strikes a delicate balance being between moods in this – emphasizing just the right notes.
“Lost State of Mind” is a truly standout track with minimalist memorability and a lovely natural gravitas to its full-bodied piano.
In feel and sound, this one parallels Little Tybee’s “Orchard;” dreamy, soft and almost lost in itself. “Lost State of Mind” is more rhythmic than the swaying ways of “Orchard,” though, thanks to Mike’s punctuated piano playing. Lovely stuff.
“We took a trip through time…”
“Return to Allen Park,” as a return to Mike’s work, is suggestive of an evolution in his style, fraught with touching subtleties and well-contemplated creative freedom.
Visions and memories from Mike’s mind traipse the gap to the minds of listeners in this fresh new release. All in all, it’s a lot like listening to a storybook; a storybook half-written in crotchets and quavers.
Thumb the pages yourself with a listen.