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Album Review: Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues
Michael Whalen
Cover image of the album Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues by Michael Whalen
Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues
Michael Whalen
2024 / Spout/MWM
43 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
There aren't a lot of artists in this world who are as versatile as Michael Whalen, and his Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues really proves that point. From soulful solo piano to electronica to soundtracks and commercial work to lively jazz and fusion music, Michael's artistry knows no bounds. With more than 950 million streams (and counting!) and two Emmy® Awards to his credit (to name a few of his many awards and nominations), Michael is something of a force of nature in the music world. For this album, Michael composed, arranged, performed, produced, recorded and mixed all of the music. (Tom Eaton mastered it.) He also played all of the instruments which include synths, keyboards, piano, electronic and acoustic drums and percussion, drum programming, rhythm guitar, processed voice, vocoder, organ and sound effects. Impressed yet? The album is subtitled "One Man Jazz" for a very good reason! Quoting Michael: "This recording is dedicated to the memory of my father, Richard J. Whalen. He loved when I created jazz and instrumental music with a groove. This is for him..." And what a fantastic tribute it is! I'm sure Mr. Whalen is smiling down on his amazing son while doing a happy dance to his music!

Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues begins with "So Far From Home," a lively piece that lets you know right away that this album isn't going to put you to sleep! Powered by a driving rhythm and Latin jazz influences, this one will have your spirit soaring and your toes tapping in no time at all! "Shorty's In Love" has more of a funk groove that is playful, upbeat and totally danceable - a great expression of FUN! Be sure to check out the video for this one! The title track really rocks with a solid beat and Michael's lightning-fast fingers on the keyboard! Love it! "First Light" slows things down considerably with a soulful track that's as peaceful as the pastel colors of a dawn sky. Piano, keyboards and drums/percussion paint a beautiful picture with warm tones and sounds. "The Sweet, Sweet Rain" is a graceful expression of gratitude for the cleansing and refreshing gift of rain. "My Autumn Heart" goes darker and more mysterious but still has a serious groove and a driving rhythm. Combining Middle Eastern influences with American jazz and rock, "Cairo Blues" will have you up and dancing - or at least having a great time in your seat - definitely a favorite! "Dance of the Morning" has a lazy, relaxed feeling that would be very easy to start the day with - even on the weekend! "All That You Dream" ups the intensity again with driving rhythms and feelings of encouragement and optimism. "A Million Miles From My Heart" brings this excellent album to a close with a slower, more reflective piece that seems to flow directly from the heart - another favorite!

Michael Whalen has created another outstanding album with Brokenhearted Lopsided Blues! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and many streaming sites including Spotify. I give it a very enthusiastic both thumbs up!
February 16, 2024
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