CD REVIEW: Mike Przygoda - 'Hang On To Your Ego'
By Steve Allat - 06/21/2005 - 12:31 AM EDT
Artist: Mike Przygoda
Album: 'Hang On To Your Ego'
For Fans Of: Keith Lawrence (see reviews), Beatles, Dylan
Fav Tracks: Friends With Benefits (instr), Help, Fireworks, I Wish I Was Your Elevator
Mike is an ambitious young man. Trained on a wide variety of instruments, he has put together a large collection of songs recorded over the past 4 years. Not quite a one-man show, but pretty close, Mike does enlist help - mostly in the form of solo instrumentation in key places.
Stylewise, Mike is all over. A little acoustic folk, some light rock, some lounge and Latin infused rhythms. Even a little swing and ragtime creep into the mix.
Although his list of instruments tops an impressive 19, I suggest that if he try to not play any instrument in the future, it would have to be drums or percussion, as sadly, the timing is noticeably off more than once or twice and it keeps otherwise groovin' tracks from being properly presented.
Vocally, Mike has an interesting voice and a good approach, but I think the years will be kinder to him than the moment is. He's either a little bit unsure, hesitant or just not practiced enough to sing in the pocket. Like the drums, he drifts enough to knock the songs off balance at times. A little more oomph and passion in the vocal dynamics would make his otherwise interesting tales very engaging. There aren't many singers out there with such a unique voice to start with. A great storytellers voice, and that seems to be what Mike enjoys doing most. When he sings low & soft, I enjoy it the best (Fireworks, Help).
There are 4 well spaced instrumentals in the mix - not surprising with a musician capable of playing so many.
His musical strength is found in his acoustic playing, as evidenced on 'Help'. As well, his compositional and storytelling is very strong. If you could perhaps simplify his melody lines at times and go for something more straight-ahead, less wordy and stronger, then I could hear something a bit easier to absorb being produced.
His musical ideas are very sound, but some of his own playing holds the songs back. As well as percussion, the lead guitar parts could improve.
With his ambition and this CD under his belt, I think Mike could easily hone his skills and put out a regular disc of material that could be substantially better and perhaps ripple the airwaves. I hope he's intent on pursuing music as a career, because somewhere in here are the ingredients for it.
I wouldn't be surprised.
Website: Mike Przygoda
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