Mike Peters

Feel Free [Castle]

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Mike Peters namechecks Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan on "Shine On (113th Dream)," the leadoff track of this solo album, and by the second song, "The Message," he is recasting the old Grandmaster Flash rap as a rock number, all of which pretty much sums up his highly referential style. The ruling influence, though, seems to be John Lennon, especially in his immediate post-Beatles period, as Peters points fingers ("You've been using artistic license making a lie with the truth") and looks back in anger ("I have been fooled by the rock & roll dream/All I ever believed in snatched away/By a piece of paper"). Could all this have something to do with his old band, the Alarm? If so, "All Is Forgiven," and Peters is moving on, which seems to mean adding trip-hop drum tracks to his folk-rock anthems and edging his earnestness with a ruefulness born of his unpleasant music-business experiences. Still, as he notes in the hidden bonus track, which you may call "Gone Elvis," he hopes to be delivered from Vegas. Good luck.

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