True Believer - Michael Cullen (Speartackle)
Well, this is a first, I think. This is a four bottle CD, and I really do dislike it. However, I disliked it a lot less after the second listen, and by now (fourth spin) it’s beginning to grow on me.
Michael Cullen’s last CD, 2011’s “Love Transmitter”, I am unfamiliar with, but it seems all who heard it loved it. This fact, plus the quality of “True Believer” (I can see shedloads of you shelling out to hold it in your hands, then scampering out to see the man in the flesh) gives me pause.
“True Believer” takes us through loves lost and almost won, via European streets and Melbourne alleys, dashed hopes and determined belief and - a certain contempt amid the vulnerability.
You’ll notice a few reference points along the way (which I won’t disclose) but I will say something I’ve said before, that there are a huge number of talented artists in this country who wouldn’t be out of place in the European markets.
Take “True Believer” on its merits - it has many - and let the songs do the talking. One point worth mentioning is that Cullen has taken his time with this LP, he hasn’t dashed it off; the songs are been carefully structured. Also, the lyrics seem to have all come from a common theme or event, and that gives “True Believer” a great unity of purpose.
Most of the CD is played by, and recorded by Cullen and timEbandit Powles (I bet he got teased at school); I’d want to see them live. Apart from anything else, the use of the synthesiser is way cool, under-stated and integral.
My favourite track is “I Walk Alone”, but you coulda guessed that.
Yep. Four bottles of those tiny aperitif things. Or four espressos and a florentine. Or four Gitanes and a croissant.