Not Just A Pretty Face - By Warren Zunino I was prepared not to like it. The newest in the Mick Rhodes collection, 'Shakapopoulis' hit my mailbox like a brick.The label revealed only three tunes and the cover art sucked air - there wasn't any. Just the clear cellophane window of a paper (nope - not even plastic!) container. No pictures, no liner notes, no bribe! Just so you'll know, I get the pre-production 'work discs' before distribution so I can write this review, and I don't see cover art till much later. ( There is also the leverage of some photos of his sister I have, taken when she 'needed the work', that ensures a constant flow of new music at no charge.)Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more. Reluctantly I slipped it in. (I can't believe I just typed that!). I grimaced and waited for my CD to find the first tune which turned out to be 'Magic.' I mean that in every sense of the word. 'Magic' swept me off my feet with the first bar. Fanciful notes danced out of my headset that at times sounded like a soprano sax and other times like some off-worldly leprechauns playing tiny flutes. It was great. Then came a vaguely familiar voice - very much in the timbre of Mick Rhodes, but, well, good! Really good! You have to remember that I have been listening to the warblings of this guy for more than 40 years, damnit, I know Mick's voice. This was a damned fine imitation, but it couldn't be the same guy who assaulted our ears in, 'You Can't Ride Away' decades ago. And actually, it isn't. Today's Mick Rhodes is whole new man with a lifetime of creativity and hell, maybe just plain old-fashioned experience. Whatever it is has produced a voice that does what every true musical artist wants to do - it let's the listener feel his deepest, most personal emotions. The ones so deep, there is no other way to experience them. Now - those of you who read this column often will know my feelings about rap. I truly feel they left the 'C' off of that word but there it is in 'Magic' and it works! It works in the same way that Evanescence made it work for them and it won me over. I was surprised to learn that it is not Mick doing the rap. I have heard his rapid-fire drivel for as long as I have been hearing him sing and I know he's capable of rap even when he is unaware that he's doing it. But he out-sourced this, and thereby retained his street creds as a musician - at least to me. 'Magic' may not wind up being my favorite tune off this partial album but it is for the moment...I will continue my review in the next column.
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