Release Date: Feb 3, 2009
Record label: The Social Registry
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
This second album from New Yorker Mike Bones is about, in his own words, “beautiful women and existential despair. ” Bones’ name might not be familiar to many people outside the insular Brooklyn music scene, but the folks that make up that crowd (and are tangentially related to it) sure have a lot of time for Bones. Matt Sweeney, the Sian Alice Group and Douglas Armour all crop up as guests on this nine-song recording, which is full of robust rock anthems that are occasionally bolstered by string and horn arrangements.
When looking at the prolific Social Registry label’s collective of artists, Mike Bones is one of the more intriguing on the roster. This isn’t because of the experimental nature of his recordings, which is much like Gang Gang Dance, Growing, and Psychic Ills, but because of the more traditional route he has taken within his own spectrum of songcraft. Much like the current recordings of Wooden Wand, after experimenting in a circle for a great deal of time, there is something intriguingly new about the idea of writing with verses and choruses.
Musically, Mike Bones' second solo album is a not-unwelcome departure from the sounds and pedigree of his debut. While the Social Registry is still the label that pays him, and he's reaching out to the same group of New Yorkers that helped him out the first time around, A Fool For Everyone is an effort that's decidedly more "rock" and less "indie. " Where The Sky Behind the Sea emphasized the textures and spaces in his songs, the new album is more interested in giving a platform to show off his hot licks and bluesy grooves.
Nearly everything about Mike Bones’ approach to songwriting is underwritten by Leonard Cohen’s career. First attempts to get into his second solo effort, A Fool for Everyone, might be enough to have you reaching for your copy of Songs from a Room. If you stick it out, though, you should find that Bones, né Strallow, isn’t musically derivative as much as he’s in thrall to Cohen’s rangy persona.