This is Colin’s latest release. He is known as a “quirky” guy locally. Quirky in a good and artistic way I might add. It’s no surprise his new LP Crystal Cage is a very unusually good album; a mixture of alt rock, alt pop, a ballad or two and a few songs so different it is hard to guess where they might of come from. Crystal Cage is a record for the adventurous and as a result is one release that certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is one guy that brings to the table effective songwriting via a highly marketable musical delivery and at times mysterious and genuine. This meshed with a one in a million Alt-Rock sound and effective visuals and vocals makes for a very effective combination no doubt. Barton is just a breath away from College-Indie-Pop or even Punk but skillfully and methodically never crosses the line into either realm really. All songs are wonderfully simple but masterful in their overall arrangements. Music reminded me of a cross between Saosin, Story of the Year, Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, Panic At The Disco, This 10 Track CD is quite entertaining overall with an amazing vocal front of Colin who is a musical triple threat in my mind. This is a world class Rock CD. Colin has an amazing voice and the rest of the musical tidbits all deliver the goods. The lyrical content is straight from the heart and offers a very clairvoyant and savant-like perspective and spirit. This doesn’t mean many mainstream music fans won’t be intrigued by Colin as well. All song do exactly what they are meant to do via well-crafted movements and top tiered musicianship. The overall production value is superb with a crystal clear sound quality. Best songs: Let the Good get Even, Orange Rind, Stepping Stones.
Criticism: No mention of the tracks on the flipside of the CD – a bit unorthodox.
Conclusion: Michael Colin has proven himself with this latest release. He is an up and coming talent around Colorado and is just fun and exciting to listen to. He is clearly capable musician, producer, songwriter and singer. I must admit Crystal Cage sucked me in like a powerful drug and refused to let go long after the CD was over. This usually indicates he is something special about the artist or band in question. We’ll leave it at that.
Official Rating – 4/5 Stars
Drew Blackwell edited by Mindy McCall
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