Mikal Cronin, "MCIII" (Merge)By Ian Evans | 24/4/15 2:24pm
Mikal Cronin musters forceful, classic pop tunes incorporating intricate and diverse instrumentation
In his third album California songwriter Mikal Cronin looks inward at his own past and emotional expression through gorgeous pop anthems. The albums kicks off with a grandiose rock thumper, “Turn Around” in 3/4 that features Cronin’s strong sense of vocal melody. The song has a gritty base of distorted guitar and loud cymbals with violins singing the theme melody on top. In line with his trademark, Cronin wrote and performed all of the instrumental parts on the album. As far as instruments, you’ve got your, guitar, bass, drums, piano, violin, cowbell, french horns, cello and tzouras(Greek stringed instruments). Mikal Cronin puts other multi-instrumentalists to shame. Although he has incredible talent to arrange and perform all of these parts, one thing that’s not lost are brilliant melodies and human connection. “Feel Like” showcases the sweetness of Cronin’s voice in the soft acoustic beginning of the song. Then the song forcefully enters a hyped up rock and roll part where Cronin sings in his falsetto with good tone quality.
The second half of MCIII takes on a different tone however. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly changes after track five, but the songs seems less autonomous. The song titles have little prefix numbers by them that make it seem like they are movements of a symphony or part of a greater whole. Cronin himself calls this part his “coming of age-story” taking place in his life after he left his native California to go to school. Although Cronin is also known as a member of Ty Segall’s band, his music is utterly unique and unrelatable to Segall’s music.
RIYL: Sloan, Ty Segall, Alejandro Escobedo
Recommended Tracks: 1,2,4,8