MICHAEL STOVALL - MERCY
Michael Stovall is an artist who currently lives Athens, GA and has been writing music for the last ten years of his life. After touring in a three-piece band for three years he decided he wanted to undertake a career as a solo artist. The transition from being in a band with a number of people to going at it your own can be a daunting task and doesn't always work to the artist’s advantage (How many countless lead singers of great bands have gone on to make rather marginal album?). Luckily, regardless of his past accomplishments Stovall has created an intimate, cohesive five- song EP entitled Mercy that displays his innate ability to write a good song.
The first thing you notice when listening to this EP is the production. It sounds incredibly professional. His voice is front and center and you can hear every word. Same thing goes with the guitar that sounds like he is playing right next to you. Amazingly enough Stovall recorded, mixed and mastered this album himself (I would be very surprised if he is not a full time audio engineer). Production is fantastic but everyone knows it can only get you so far. There isn't a dud in the bunch and there are slower acoustic based songs that have a lot of melancholy with a tinge of optimism.
The album starts with “It Don’t Take Two.” Stovall picks a delicate melody on his acoustic as he croons over the music with an attractive vocal melody. When the chorus hits he adds orchestral strings and a sparse lead electric guitar that complements his guitar attractively. The best song on the album is “Home (The Only Place),” which strikes a balance between melancholy and progression. The song has a great guitar riff that bursts with energy and really starts to flourish towards when he adds a number of different elements. The title track “Mercy” is the most emotional purging as Stovall sings and repeats the phrase “In my time of need.” The weight of the phrase is intensified further by the background vocals.
Stovall is no doubt an inspired songwriter although he songs sometimes sound familiar and could get lost in the surplus of singer/songwriters who follow a similar formula. In the end though his songs have a ubiquitous appeal that is hard to ignore.
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