'With a sound that bears comparison to artists such as Virgil Shaw or the Court & Spark, [Merenda's] music revives the lush gusto of folk/rock. What distinguishes Merenda bucolic bebop from a host of other indie singer/songwriters? Honesty. Well, that and the fact that he's exponentially more creative than others. Election Day avoids playing into tired folk cliches by delicately juggling genres and glorifying traditional simplicty. Take, for example, the FCC friendly 'She Smokes Pot'. Aside from boasting some pretty clever diction, this little ditty galopes with impressive ska influence. I'd have to say that my favorite song is probably 'Bored'. And not only is this stuff eccentric enough for college radio, but it's professional enough to dazzle the Americana airwaves - great crossover music.' Ryan Hoffer A&R /Shut Eye Records Boston Phoenix 'Mike Merenda is best known as one-third of the folk trio The Mammals. On his just released second solo album, 'Election Day' (Humble Abode) his bandmates, Ruth Ungar & Tao Rodriguez-Seeger (scion of Pete), help out, but this is Merenda's record. He puts a slightly more political spin on the usual rootsy acousticisms and amps 'em up with a jolt of Amer-indie juice, including mule-kicking Uncle Tupelo-isms, logorrheic Dylanesque image streams, a mellow/melodic plea for common sense marijuana laws, and a punk-ska paean to someone who'd benefit from them. No better time than 72 hours before Election Day to hear 'Election Day' at the Cantab Lounge.' Michael Merenda / Election Day / Humble Abode 2004 by Mike Jurkovic Chronogram Magazine 'A big, brashy crash of indy swing and natural strings infuse Merenda's 'Election Day', creating a grand argument for free speech in these anal-retentive Bush II years. Merenda's music is a big frothy Mulligan mix of this, that, and all things in-between. He makes such wildly abandoned tunes as the raving 'She Smokes Pot!', the Blonde-on-Blondely ironic 'Independence Hall' ('I got busted smoking pot outside of Independence Hall'), and the ingenious lyricism of 'I'm God' (where the protagonist, God, is trying to impress a rather unimpressionable blonde) essential listening - if not for the desert isle, then for right now, breaking the chokehold the majors and their pissant radio and internet streaming cronies have on our auditory systems. And speaking of Blonde On Blonde, check out the rollicking barrel-house of the 'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream' tribute/rip, 'Tahoe'. No one will ever mistake Merenda for Josh Grobin, but who cares. When he ends this great disc with the sing-a-long confession 'All Wrecked Up' ('I'm quick to corrupt when I'm all wrecked up'), all I can say is Amen! '
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