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Mike McClure

Twelve Pieces – 2002 (Compadré)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Mike McClure

Mike McClure's first solo project has a more acoustic/folk feel than his work with his regular band the Great Divide. A recurring theme for McClure is the passage of time and the dread of getting older. The opening track "Haunt Me No More" is reminiscent of the Bellamy Brothers' "Old Hippie" as the singer laments the fact that he is aging ("I'm getting older and my hair is turning grey"), though he remains hopeful for the future ("Go make some changes, this is your canvas to paint"). The tune "World Go Round" contrasts the harsh reality of the present ("I've got debt and doubt and worry piled up outside my door") with an earlier, carefree time when he put baseball cards in the spokes of his bicycle.

McClure's most impassioned vocals are on the Tom Pettyesque rocker "The Void" and the inspirational "Between Two Thieves." A pair of tunes ("Wicked Game Of Hearts" and "Harder To Ignore") suffer from the harmonies of Susan Gibson whose voice does not blend well with McClure's, and at times, the two are singing out of sync. McClure's lyrics can at times be clichTd as with "Dings," a ballad that begins with the refrain "I am just a poor boy" and appears at first to be a cover of Paul Simon's "The Boxer."

Mike McClure appears to have singer/songwriter aspirations in the tradition of Steve Earle and Bob Dylan - he even thanks "Robert Zimmerman" in his liner notes. Though there are some nice tunes, McClure fails to offer anything new.