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Todd Michael Hall - Sonic Healing

Todd Michael Hall
Sonic Healing
by Mike McMahan at 08 August 2021, 10:28 AM

I am not a fan of the slick, over-produced televised karaoke contests that seem to be all the rage in the world at the moment (and have been for YEARS, come to think of it). I am speaking, of course, of shows such as American Idol and The Voice, the latter of which, one Todd Michael Hall was a contestant on in the shows eighteenth season (how does that even happen?). Inevitably, anyone who shows a prowess for something other than Pop, cookie cutter fluff is shown the door… most of the time fairly early. I bring the examples of Constantine Maroulis and Bo Bice, both supremely talented vocalists, with Bice actually making the finals of the competition and absolutely killing an acapella rendition of BADLANDS’ “In A Dream”. Of course, he had the misfortune to be pitted against Ms. Pop Cookie Cutter Fluff herself, in the form of Carrie Underwood, who would go on to win the show and continue to aid in the artistic destruction of Nashville. Hall, too, is an extremely talented vocalist who fell victim to a “four-way elimination round” on The Voice. Sad, really, that a lot of the American public who tend to vote on these things have been fed such a disgusting diet of cookie cutter garbage that they fail to understand anything else.

None the worse for wear, the RIOT V vocalist has embarked on what promises to be a great solo career with the release “Sonic Healing”. He has been aided, quite admirably, by METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, and together they have put forth a very solid work, filled with vocal histrionics aplenty, as well as some solid songwriting throughout the album. Opening the record with a heavy touch is the rocker “Overdrive”, a song that feels like a throwback to a far better day and time, musically speaking. It is filled with great riff and lead work from Vanderhoof, as well as fireworks from Hall on the vocal. His voice has a tone not unlike that of Derek St. Holmes, and his delivery is equally as energetic as some of the Holmes driven works of Ted Nugent.

The album certainly has a throwback element about it, which you will never hear me complain about. “Let Loose Tonight” is a great example of exactly what I am speaking of, with more solid riff work which could have easily found a home in the seventies. Interestingly, my favorite cut on the record is one of the bonus tracks, “Not With A Sword”, a mystical sounding heirloom and about as far away from “cookie cutter” as you can imagine. The entire release has a raw power to it, and in a better time, would be a monster hit for Todd Michal Hall. Keep ‘em coming, sir. We need you!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Overdrive
2. Let Loose Tonight
3. All On The Line
4. Running After You
5. Love Rain Down
6. Sonic Healing
7. Like No Other
8. Somebody’s Fool
9. To The Bone
10. Long Lost Rock & Rollers
11. The Other Side (Bonus Track)
12. Not With A Sword (Bonus Track)
Lineup:
Todd Michael Hall – Vocals
Kurdt Vanderhoof – Guitars
Record Label: Rat Pak Records
     


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