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Michael McDonald – Wide Open

Jean Philippe Rejou Sep 05,2017

Michael McDonald’s New Album

His new album after a wait of 17 years

The release of a new album by Michael Mcdonald is always an event in itself, especially when it is a disc composed only of new songs, something that had not happened since “Blue obsession” (2000), As much as an eternity, even including the excellent “in the spirit the Christmas album” appeared in 2001, composed mostly of original pieces, it still represents 16 years of famine.

Michael Mcdonald had literally captivated the audience when he arrived at the doobie brothers in 1976, taking the group’s leadership and making a musical turn, with a much more “Blue-eyed soul” orientation. Keyboards Compared to guitars and highlighting his absolutely unique “soul” Voice! “takin it to the streets” was a great success and devoted entirely to Michael Mcdonald. It followed several albums that all won a great success and influencèrent many artists. The Dobbies separated just after the ” farewell tour ” in 1982, and Michael Mcdonald released his first solo album with the success that we know, powered by the legendary single ” I keep forgettin’

In the 80 s, he saw the success through de with other artists like the famous ” yah mo be there ” with James Ingram or ” on my own ” with Patti Labelle, but also alone, with the title sweet freedom ” in 1986! His voice was always very wanted as a chorus singer by artists or groups, so we can hear it on the single “I’ll be over you” from toto in 1986! At the same time the ” no lookin back ” Disc will appear in 1985 and take it to heart in 1990. The 90 s only saw the release of ” blink of an eye ” in 1993, and seven years later Late “Blue obsession” (2000).

Michael Mcdonald found the billboard charts in 2003 with ” Motown ” album of reprises that met a great success, and there was an extraordinary interpretation of ” ain’t no mountain high enough There was a ” Motown two ” in 2004 and then ” soul speak ” (2008), the latter contains 3 original compositions of the master!

So what’s this ” wide open Well from my point of view and after a few taps, I don’t hesitate to say it’s certainly his best album! “if that what it takes” remains and will remain a legendary album, as it appeared in a context still favourable to this kind of music and it was of course marked our generation, we all had between 15 and 25 years at This time, see a little more for the oldest! So he has to mark our youth and will always leave us an indelible memory!

“wide open” is his most personal, most complete and profound album. Michael Mcdonald delivers us in the fall of his life a jewel of great beauty! It is very rare for a composer who interprets to make an album of such quality over 60 years! The production of Michael Mcdonald and Shannon Forrest is absolutely remarkable, the sound is dense, a certain power in spring and Mcdonald’s voice is particularly shaped on all the pieces that make up ” wide open The surprise comes mainly from the introduction of guitars, compared to keyboards, even though these are obviously always present. There are no small pieces, and this is also the strength of wide open in relation to its predecessors. Since “if that’s what it takes” we didn’t get Mcdonald’s to a record that makes us so high and gives us so much happiness from start to finish, without wanting to skip a title, especially by Time running, where we pass very easily from one track to another and where the way to receive music has changed so much since the 80 s!

It’s a mid-tempo entêtant that opens ” wide open “, on ” Hail Mary ” (Michael Mcdonald), you notice the guitar that prints the rhythm and not the keyboard, as you might have thought before you started listening. , the arrival of the horns and the saxophone of mark douthit in the second part of the song is of great success, his wife Amy Holland Mcdonald is also present on the chorus, what a beautiful entrance to this! “just strong enough” (Michael Mcdonald / Gary Nicholson) is the title of bravery of this record, almost 8 minutes! It is a beautiful “Blues” which benefits from a very bare production in an introduction, this piece is swelling gradually with the arrival of the brass and strings, the latter being beautifully arranged by Matthew Mccauley, the chorus and solos of guitars follow all More beautiful than others, we swim in full happiness, Michael Mcdonald sings the blues to perfection!

With ” find it in your heart ” (John Goodwin / Michael Mcdonald) we are in a known field, this very ” Blue eyed soul ” Title is in a regular register for the master, and success is once again in the rendez – You! On ” half truth ” (Michael Mcdonald / Grady Walker / Dylan Mcdonald) the intro to the harmonica is signed Mcdonald, this song is in a more ” roots ” vein smelling good the ” Midwest “, the huge plains that never end , the arrangements sweat the smell of wheat and straw, it totally explodes on the chorus, the guitars give once again the tone of this amazing piece! The first guitar chords on “ai no good” (Michael Mcdonald / John Goodwin) are very chatoyants, and the melody that follows is beautiful, starting in mid-Tempo, we speed up a bit on the chorus with a power Back, and then from the second verse the title is racing and happiness is total!

The only true ballad of the album is “honest emotion” (Michael Mcdonald / Charles Frichtel / John Goodwin) with a very bare production, banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, very beautiful strings arrive at half the track. Attention, this is a unique moment, this title is beautiful to cry! With “blessing in disguise” (Michael Mcdonald / GEORGE PEPPARD / Bernie Chiaravalle / Beth Nielsen Chapman) we sail in high sphere, the very jazz soprano saxophone of Branford Marsalis is extraordinary, and the haunting tempo of this piece, marked with different effects of Synthesizers by Steve Porcaro gives an absolutely remarkable result! The Mid-tempo “dark side” (Michael Mcdonald) is also on top, definitely this disc is a true delight, the melody is beautiful and moving, the arrangements without fault and the beauty of the chorus can give you chills!

Did you like the tempo of the song “if it takes” in 1982 on the album of the same name? If you are, you will love “if you wanted to hurt me” (Michael Mcdonald / Peter Leinheiser), a tempo a little faster though, and who reminds us of the great moments of Motown, this title is full of soul, Brass are here, it’s playing, it’s groove for our greatest happiness! “beautiful child” (Michael Mcdonald / Bernie Chiaravalle / Chuck Sabatino) starts in a rather acoustic way and then if on the chorus and take us back into the big spaces, it’s always great art! With “too short” (Michael Mcdonald / Ross Bono) did Michael Mcdonald want to pay tribute to little feat? In any case, it really sounds like Lowell George’s fire band, a little ride on the side of New Orleans can’t hurt! You like fusion? If you are going to enjoy yourself with “free a man” (Richard Stekol), this piece that serves as a conclusion to this record sends serious, a groove of hell, keyboard solos, saxophone, guitar follow, never Michael Mcdonald Had not interpreted a title in this spirit on one of his albums, it is a total rapture!

You will understand it by reading this column I am not stingy with superlative, but this is what I really feel to listen to this chef… mine of nothing the couple Mcdonald at two years apart has made Two major records from the 2010 s, little wink to Amy Holland who with “Light on my path” hit a big shot in 2015!

What more can I say? Do not hesitate to obtain this ” masterpiece
Produced by Michael McDonald & Shannon Forrest
Horn arrangements : Michael McDonald, Mark Mullins, Mark Douthit, Mark Leonhart, David Frank
String arrangements & Conductor : Matthew McCauley, Shannon Forrest
Original arrangements : John Peppard
Michael McDonald : Vocals, Guitars, Wurlitzer, Piano, Fender Rhodes, Harmonica, Keyboards, Clav
Bass : Willie Weeks, Marcus Miller, Lee Sklar, Lance Morrison, Tommy Sims, Michael Rhodes, Craig Young, Rony Lucio
Drums : Shannon Forrest
Percussion : Shannon Forrest
Brushes : Shannon Forrest
Drum Programming : Shannon Forrest
Synth Bass : Shannon Forrest
Electric Guitars : Michael Landau, Dann Huff, Robben Ford, Warren Haynes, Drew Ramsey, So Littlefield, David Levita
Acoustic Guitar : Bernie Chiaravalle, Dann Huff, Ilya Toshinski, Danny Rader, David Levita
Bouzouki : Danny Rader
Banjo : Ilya Toshinski
Mandolin : Ilya Toshinski
Slide Guitar : Michael Landau
12-String Guitar : Bernie Chiaravalle
Hammond b-3 : David Paich, Larry Goldings
Rhodes : Mike Rojas
Synthesizers : Steve Porcaro, Tim Akers, Jeff Roach, John Peppard
Trombone : Mark Mullins, Barry Green, Andrew Lippman
Sousaphone: Matt Perrine
Tenor Saxophone : Ward Smith, Scott Mayo, George Shelby
Alto Saxophone : Scott Mayo
Baritone Saxophone : George Shelby
Saxophones : Tom Scott, Mark Douthit
Trumpet : Michael Leonhart, Bobby Campo, Steve Patrick, Harry Kim
Flugelhorn : Michael Leonhart
Soprano Saxophone : Branford Marsalis
Guest Vocals : Amy Holland McDonald, Drea Renee