Over a decade and a half into his career, Chicago-based singer/songwriter Michael McDermott shoots for his definitive album on Noise from Words -- his Tonight's the Night, his Late for the Sky, his Nebraska. Released three years after his last album, Noise from Words is, McDermott claims, an intensely personal autobiographical song cycle about addiction and recovery. Unfortunately, McDermott's strength as a songwriter is not naked, raw emotion; it's likely that anyone who hears these 12 songs without the foreknowledge of their creation would be hard-pressed to catch the underlying theme outside of the fairly obvious opening and closing tunes, "Mess of Things" and "I Shall Be Healed." Furthermore, McDermott is a talented but not particularly emotive singer whose rather plain voice doesn't deliver much of an emotional wallop. Noise from Words is an entirely inoffensive piece of adult alternative songcraft, but unfortunately, it seems that McDermott was going for something more than that.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason