I was getting pretty damned tired of reviewing EPs..….until this little gem turned up, a lush and beautiful 4-cut gem by a guy who utilizes vaguely Donovan-ish encantation with some Roger Voudoris, Chris DeBurgh, Michael Tomlinson, and other overtones laid atop. Michel Ackermann's voice is pretty distinctive, though, and I think it's his native German tongue that lends that enunciation of English the enchanting slur it possesses. I haven't heard anyone run words together like this since the estimable Leitch. It's somewhat mystic.
However, he's not merely an enticing singer but a very good writer and arranger as well. Kite presents itself as a highly tailored effort inspissating Sade with all the gents I mentioned a moment ago, then walks them through an updated MOR mode leavening the rurality of rustic byways with metropolitan lights. The band Double kinda went down this road briefly (their charting The Captain of Her Heart is a classic) before suffocating in sweetsy chart BS, but Michel Ackermann doesn't make that mistake, keeping an earthy vitality alive amid the strings and mellifluity.
If Kite was issued as an experiment in market acceptability, then the venture was a mistake, but of the nicest kind. What's needed is the full release now. Every cut here captures the ear, and I'd place Ackermann in with Feargal Sharkey and other slightly-out-of-skew singers whose nuances and home base are themselves enough to provoke interest, let alone the rest of the very generous musicianship involved.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles