Weddings, Parties, Anything

Difficult Loves

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After a two year hiatus, and another member change, Weddings, Parties, Anything emerged with this classic, strong album. All of their influences and past releases paved the way for this incredible work. Working with their first producer, Alan Thorne, seemed to be a good choice, as their distinct sound never sounded better. Michael Thomas penned all of the tunes, and although there are still strong political overtones, he utilizes his storytelling abilities to create some very memorable, and heartbreaking characters. At the same time, he has created a concept album about "difficult loves". From the bittersweet musings of a divorced father, looking forward to his Saturday visits with his son ("Father's Day"), to the story of the couple who believe that travel will save their relationship ("The Four Corners of the Earth"), every song manages to stir emotion in the listener. Just listen to the duet between Patricia Young with Michael Thomas on the incredible "Step In, Step Out" combined with the sorrowful sounds of Mark Wallace's accordion and not be moved by the sound, music, and lyrics. There is not a weak moment on this album, and it must be noted that Michael Thomas' vocals are a clear highlight. Always a competent singer, on this CD he uses his voice in so many ways that one is left astounded by his talents, both as a writer and a singer. Overall, a near perfect album of well-crafted, expertly played folk-pop songs that will stay with the listener long after the CD is returned to the case, if it is ever taken out of the CD player.

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