Mike Errico

Pictures of the Big Vacation

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AllMusic Review by

Sounding like Dave Matthews crossed with the Wallflowers, Mike Errico delivers a flawed but promising debut with Pictures of the Big Vacation. Errico's roots may be in the contemporary folk underground, but the production has a big, glossy sound that's ideal for adult alternative pop radio. Beneath that gloss, it's possible to hear what made Errico a cult favorite on the East Coast. His songs are elastic, bending from verse to verse, occasionally stopping for a chorus. His voice is jazzy and fluid, stretching for unusual notes. His lyrics are often impressionistic and poetic, sometimes to his own detriment, since it feels as if he's striving too hard for unpredictable juxtapositions. This would all sound a lot more immediate and captivating if the production was simpler, but it's very smooth, as if Errico and his producer Susan Rogers were gunning for the more experimental portions of Matthews' audience. And, at times the sound does work, particularly on the quieter moments of Pictures of the Big Vacation -- but that only hammers home the point that Errico probably sounds better unadorned.

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