Blue Skies Black
Reviewed by: Rob Acocella
Blue Skies Black is the latest solo album from Mike Grosshandler (The Velmas, Above The Flood). We’ve been following Mike’s musical career since we started Paragon. He was not only a featured artist many times, but also a very good friend in the years we’ve known him. Blue Skies Black is different from Mike’s previous solo offerings, as it’s the first to incorporate electric guitars as well as many other layers of instruments not previously heard on his acoustic solo albums. The album leads off the with the title track, which I also feel is the strongest track on here. “Status Quo” is the track that follows and every time I hear it I can’t help but think of Joe Elliot from Def Leppard’s vocal performance on “Two Steps Behind,” especially with the similar song endings and all. I also hear a little bit of Green Day on the extremely infectious song “Everything’s Fine.” Be careful with this track, it’ll be stuck in your head for days.
Similarities and influences aside, Blue Skies Black is a really strong recording from Mike, which I know took a long time to put together. It was well worth the wait and there are lots of varied styles and sounds on here. All while being true to the feeling we’re used to from Mike. A few more stand-out tracks are “Florida”, “Too Many Reasons”, and “Nothing Much.” I know this isn’t the last we’ll hear from Mike on the solo front, and I anxiously await new music from him, as he never disappoints. Now if only he could get himself down to our neck of the woods for a show…