Album Review: Michael Tracy’s “Gonna Smile”

Michael Tracy Band
Photo by: Arvind Bhandari

Everyone has at least one album that no matter what, once you start listening to it, you just can’t stop until it’s through. I have a few myself and discovering a new one is so rare that it almost feels like winning the lottery. With most bands going for the big singles these days, good full-length albums are hard to come by. Although one local band from the Queen City has put out a disc that will demand all of your attention, and will have you so caught up you might listen to it all the way through two or three times without stopping.

The Michael Tracy Band has proven to be one of the best local bands in the area. Loaded with some great musicians, a distinctive sound and amazing songwriting skills, this band is well on the way to the national spotlight. Lead vocalist/guitarist Michael Tracy and lead guitarist Boo English co-produced their latest release, Gonna Smile, and put tons of heart and soul into it. The band was also recently signed a two-record deal with independent label Spectra Records. Along with Gonna Smile, Tracy’s E.P. Hopeful has also been picked up by the label. Each song on Gonna Smile has a unique sound that brings it to life, whether it be a track like “Wait For Me” that has a ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll feel to it with horns dominating the verses or  “Enough Small Talk” that brings out the country and southern rock roots of the band. The songwriting on this album is as good as it gets. Tracy’s The lyrics are very catchy, and he adds great melodies to his vocals as well. while s and full of great melodies. Some of the songs are filled with an upbeat tempo that will get you moving while others have a relaxing vibe that will clear your head.

Each song sounds like it was carefully arranged and worked out before it was recorded. The music really fits together very well with the lyrics that accompany it. You can hear all the emotions the band poured into each song. “Raven” is so haunting you will get chills. While “Sing Together” will have you dancing around clapping, and as the title suggests, you will be singing together with Tracy before it’s over. One of my favorites on the album is “Ever Old, Ever New.” It has a feel to it that can calm your mind on the most stressful of days, and you’ll be swept away by the dominating guitar solos performed throughout the song. The fact that they were able to bring so many different sounds and styles to this album shows how much talent these guys have. Any song off this album could turn into a single. This is one of those discs that will stay in your player for a long time to come, and each time it plays you’ll be unable to stop listening until each song has been heard.

It’s great to hear music that is filled with so many different emotions, styles and sounds all on one album. Coming across a record like this is like capturing lightning in a bottle. Whether you’re in a rut and can’t find any new music to get into, need inspiration, or just love listening to quality music, this is the album for you. This is definitely one of the best rock albums of the year so far, and it has a very good chance at staying near the top of that list for the remainder of 2014.



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