Mike Bones

A Fool for Everyone

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Stylistically, Mike Bones' second album, A Fool for Everyone, is not a major departure from his first album, The Sky Behind the Sea; the New York City-based singer/songwriter still provides alternative pop/rock that tends to be cerebral. The Sky Behind the Sea is the type of album that simply has to be accepted on its own terms. Nonetheless, A Fool for Everyone is -- melodically speaking -- somewhat more accessible than its predecessor, not to mention more focused. And this time, Bones is -- in his own intellectual way -- providing some hooks for the listener to grab hold of. The end result is an album that is not ultra-easy to absorb, but it is easier to absorb. If this early-2009 release is somewhat of a compromise, it isn't enough of a compromise for Bones to be called "commercial"; his indie rock spirit remains intact, and he hasn't lost either his dry sense of humor or his fondness for cryptic, abstract lyrics. The fact that Bones has become more accessible melodically doesn't mean that he has become all that accessible lyrically. Bones is still challenging, but the good news is that he has come out with an album that could broaden his audience without undermining the creativity and stubborn individualism that made him artistically appealing in the first place. A Fool for Everyone is a rewarding step forward for Mike Strallow, aka Mike Bones.

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