CD Reviews

MICHAEL CROSSMAN: Once in a Blue Moon

If, as Marx said, religion is the opiate of the masses, it might be said that pop music is a slightly caffeinated soda beverage along the lines of Coca Cola or Mountain Dew of the masses; it’s not there to cloud the mind but only something sweet that offers a pick-me-up during the day. Your parents might tell you that the can of Dr. Pepper in your hand has the nutritional value of a wet piece of paper, but it tastes good, it’s fizzy, and life feels just slightly better while you’re sipping it.

And that is the purpose of good pop music. It lightens the load for a spell and gives you a chance to hum along for a while and tap your toe.

Michael Crossman gives us feel-good pop music to bring a little happiness to our days. His new disk, Once in a Blue Moon, offers up ten original pop gems that have it all, catchy lyrics with choruses that invite you to sing along. Crossman’s songs have that country/folk happiness. They all sound like they started around a campfire.

Crossman would never make it past Simon Cowell on any of those competition TV shows, because his singing never quite meets the mark. Crossman nonetheless gives it a good effort. And really, you don’t need to be a good singer to sing around a campfire, do you?

The recording and production of Once in a Blue Moon is stellar. All the instruments come across really well. I played the disk on my 1970s’ style stereo with the big woofers and tweeters, as well as stuck it into the player with an eight-inch speaker that I keep in the kitchen. The recording sounded great in both. That is proof of some great recording engineering.

The musicians are well chosen for this project. Everybody’s favorite studio musician, Jim Hoke, does great work on harmonica, saxophone, and clarinet. The disk has 30 minutes and six seconds of music, six seconds over the time needed to keep me from handing out demerits for being too short.

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