Feel Free

CD Cover Mike Peters
Attic Records

Review by Daniel Ewacha

45-second excerpt from "Shine On [113th Dream]" (various formats)

It seems as though Mike Peters has taken on life's problems and attempted to solve them by presenting the answers in song on his new album, Feel Free. Whether this attempt is genuine and heart-felt, or arrogant and egotistical, is really up to the listener. I have my thoughts on the matter, but my job is to tell you about the musical aspects of the CD, so here goes...

It appears that Peters in his years of isolation has gone from the lead singer of the Alarm to, well, a futuristic hippie of sorts, blending an awareness of human nature and environmental and sociological issues into lyrics relevant to the 90's, but which sound like they're from the 60's. Combining keyboards, drum loops, guitar effects and your standard acoustic six-string, Peters manages to produce some decent tunes at the best of times, while failing somewhat to bridge the two influences at the worst. Peters shines brightly on "Shine On [113th Dream]," "Regeneration," "What is It For?" and, most surprisingly, on a cover of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's epic, "The Message." Play that funky music, white boy!

Alarm fans will probably be split down the middle with this one. Looking back at the subject matter throughout Peters' songs, there is a common link, being that of social diseases. Whether this was Peters' idea of a concept album or not only he knows, but, regardless, the album is worth at least a listen to. After that, you can decide whether or not to file this with the rest of your discs -- or post it to Jimmy Swaggart and tell him you have proof that the end of the world is near.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on February 14, 1997

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