Evan Michaels – “Ain’t No Stopping This” is available on iTunes.
Not that there is anything wrong with “Ain’t No Stopping This,” it’s a genuine six-song EP in the Texas/Red Dirt genre. But the EP, produced by Stillwater, OK singer/songwriter Evan Michaels and his keyboard player (Andrew) Bair, somehow isn’t inviting enough to light a fire. Their current radio single “Bet On A Backroad,” sounds too much like Nashville Bro-Country song with all its cliches forefront and is currently bubbling right outside the Top 100 of the Texas Regional Radio Report and can’t be found in the CDX Traction Texas Chart. This is songwriting lite, I normally don’t expect from great Red Dirt music.
I bet it’s on a back road
In the middle of nowhere
We take the shortcuts
to get us there
I love the idea behind “Too Big For The Both Of Us” which stipulates that a relationship may only survive in a small town as it is predestined to fail in the big city. But the contemporary, almost Nashville-like arrangement kills that song for me. A nice change of rhythm, with a jingle-jangly feel, gives us the mid-tempo reflection of an ex-girlfriend; but “Like It Should” seems like it was copied out of Reckless Kelly’s songbook.
The only outstanding track is the opener and title song “Ain’t No Stopping This” with a great Chris-LeDoux feel to it. Even though knowing that an encounter is doomed from the beginning, there is nothing that can stop it from happening. The temptation is bigger than reason.
As to “Must Have Been Drinking” and “Tomorrow Today,” there are some good approaches, but in the end, both songs fail to grab me. Most likely, even after multiple-listens, because nothing new is offered. The arrangements sound like run-of-the-mill country-rock fare a 70s cover band would cover.
With just one song really grasping my attention it will be difficult for Evan Michaels to really stand out from an ever-increasing crowd of Red Dirt singer/songwriters and bands. There are some great ideas on this EP, but better songwriting and having an own sound are recommended. This six sampler still sounds as he would be trying to find his own self, lyrical-wise as well as musically. I miss an edge that sets Evan Michaels apart from the mediocrity that now seems to sweep through the Texas/Red Dirt scene. As to Evan’s voice, it’s pleasant and strong enough to sing hits. Unfortunately, there are some blocks on the road, and his way to the top may take a little longer than he wished for with “Ain’t No Stopping This.”
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