Since we looked at Mike Stand’s solo debut last week, we might as well take a gander at the second. If you are like me, you might have the two on a limited edition twofer CD released by KMG Records many years ago. KMG also released similar CDs by other Frontline artists of the late 80s and early 90s.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for the 12 string electric guitar. If I had the money and the professional skills, I’d buy me a Rickenbacker 330 12-string. Red, of course, and make an album just like this one.
As was the acoustic guitar the instrumentational theme (is that the right phrase?) that the music and overall sound revolved around for Mike’s previous album, the 12-string electric is the album’s principle instrument that the sound on this 1990 release revolves itself around.
With it, comes a bit of a 60s flair mixed with some alternative, and that’s certainly okay. Like his previous release, revolving the sound of the album around a particular type of guitar creates a natural flow and flavor to the choices of instruments, rhythms and melodies to the album. And like his first, as well as Phil Keaggy’s work of the time, the classic rock sound had not yet been a thing, so this was certainly unique during a time when hair bands ruled the airwaves and CD shelves.
This is an album where it is hard to find songs to highlight, since they are all almost equally as good as the other. But personal favorites include the mainly mid-tempo, ‘chimey’ tunes such as “Stand and Fall,” “Blame it on the Heart,” and “Great Things Happen.”
To say which of Mike’s two solo efforts was better is hard. At the time I would have said his first, but his second has grown on me more as time has gone by. That being said, this has aged just as well as his first album, not being the least bit outdated after nearly 30 years. In fact, hearing it now seems even more refreshing than it did back then.