Mike Freedman

Mother Earth

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This debut record has some of the same musical styles and passion that the Dave Matthews Band contains. The title track features Freedman's earthy, slightly unpolished vocal effort around a very organic and natural musical arrangement. Several of the themes have an eco-friendly and philosophical message to them in the vein of fellow Canadian Bruce Cockburn, yet the music rarely tends to suffer as a result. "Only Human" is the exception, as the music is good, but not spectacular or as interesting as it could be. Freedman connects with the listener during "Stealing Beauty," which has a basic up-tempo beat prior to its chorus that complements the lyrics rather well. Comparisons to the musician's approach bring Sting to mind, especially during the slightly funky pop-folk of "While We Were Sleeping." A calypso beat isn't out of the question either on "Happy," perhaps the best track on the album. Finishing on a high note with "Old Friend," Freedman is more than capable of capturing a moment concerning the simpler things in life.

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