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Mick Devine - Hear Now

Mick Devine
Hear Now
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 October 2019, 6:15 AM

MICK DEVINE spent the early part of his career in an AOR band called SEVEN. The record label dropped them before an album was recorded. After raising a family and 25 years later, a chance meeting with an Escape executive and Steve Morris led to them signing a record deal with Escape Music. “Hear Now” is Mick’s debut solo album release, and contains ten tracks.

“Strange Voices” leads off the album, heavy with keys and the smooth and mellow voice of Mick Devine. He stretches out at times as well, hitting the upper ranges in the chorus, as the guitars make their presence known. “Live Forever” has a funky and sexy strength to it, complete with a smoking guitar solo. The chorus sticks with you—Mick’s voice sounds a bit like Richard Marx to me. “Home” is a slower number, opening with a bluesy guitar solo and a big chorus, with a body of backing vocals, a-la DEF LEPPARD. “So Much Better Now” opens with a run of clean guitars and keys, setting a laid-back and care free sound. It’s sort of a power ballad of sorts.

“Hope Rising” opens with a Country type twang. The acoustical guitars are mellow and Mick sings from deep within his heart. The real magic happens in the chorus with the wall of backing vocals. “Standing in the Middle” is probably the song I would choose as the first single off the album. It has a mellow entrance with some real emotional parts, and a big chorus. It reminds me of the popular music of the 1980’s. “Life Goes on” is a mid-tempo rocker with some mellow, melancholy sounds. They really push the chorus and it leaves a memorable mark on the listener. “Another Way” is a tender, slow, and moving piece. I can appreciate the simpler/softer side of the Rock genre, but this is pretty far from Metal for sure…and that’s OK.

“Life is an Open Road” is a thematic song for the album. It’s a positive and easy listening tune that reminds the listener to take pause and look to the good things in life. “Game Over” closes the album, with a faster pace and fuller sound. It has an almost “free jam” type of feeling to it, especially when considering the extended guitar solo section at the end. Overall, this was a pretty solid album, featuring a great vocalist and supporting cast. As I mentioned before, it’s pretty far from the Metal genre but if you have an open mind and just like listening to good tunes, you’ll find plenty to like here.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Strange Voices
2. Live Forever
3. Home
4. So Much Better Now
5. Hope Rising
6. Standing in the Middle
7. Life Goes on
8. Another Way
9. Life is an Open Road
10. Game Over
Mick Devine – All Vocals
Steve Morris – Guitars and Keyboards
Brian Anthony – Drums, Bass, Acoustic Guitars, Mandelion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Stefanie Johnson – Backing Vocals
Record Label: Escape Music


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