We are all one. That goes without saying. The collective consciousness is all of ours, and as such we owe each other love and respect. Many people resonate love and pure conscious awareness. Others resonate dissonant, hateful vibrations. Others still resonate confused delusion, terror and broken signals. Mike Soviet is one such incarnation. Mike Soviet is an artist from Kitimat, British Columbia, and I’m not sure what kind of chemicals they put in the water over there, but we’ll get to that in our witness-perspective analysis of his appropriately titled new album “Not Chill”. Mike is a trained musician who has, according to his bio, been compared to some of the greatest artists our world has ever seen; namely David Bowie and Tom Waits.
Most artists who are comedy artists or joke artists identify themselves as such. That’s why Mike’s album is so confusing. He is advertised as an alternative/electronic artist, though the only artist I could compare him to is the late Wesley Willis, who I enjoy for his heart and freedom of expression. “Pumpkin” is acceptable enough, with his Gary Numan-inspired electronic groove. However, Mike’s vocals are awkward, and at best, an acquired taste. Lyrically he’s interesting on this track and has some great use of metaphor. The experimental ideas are great, and there’s potential here, to be fair. Slightly better execution of the vocals would bring this up a notch.
“Devoid” continues the engaging new wave production headed up by Mike Soviet’s once again excellent lyrics. It’s almost there. The groove and the song is well done, with interesting hooks and eery keyboards. His voice sounds as if he’s choking on his tongue, and that’s what makes his delivery so strange.
“Old Man Murder” is really where things start to go south. Even being heavily into experimental music myself, this sounds like poorly done karaoke and there’s no other way of saying it.
Speaking of south, “Girls Around the World” has to be one of the most racist and sexist songs I’ve ever heard. Most of the lines go way beyond what I could print here. Mike targets women who are Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, American, First Nations and…well, you didn’t expect me to listen to the rest of it, did you? I write reviews but will not subject myself to torture when I’m aware that it’s real and it’s happening. Without judgement, I can safely communicate that to you, the reader. I would invite you to take a listen and decide for yourselves. Perhaps an internet conversation will ensue!
“Program” works better for Mike’s unique style, and it’s tracks like this that make you halfway understand that he could build a cult following. “Ode to My Skull” is actually quite a decent track where his disturbed delivery reminded me of Gary Numan somewhat.
Overall, this is an artist that the listener needs to decide for themselves about. I’ve presented my view here, and that’s all I can do in fairness. I’ve done my best to stay neutral and be kind. This album is…definitely not chill.
By: James Moore @ firstname.lastname@example.org