Instrumentally speaking, MCII isn't too flashy, but still manages to hold its own. Most songs consist of vocals, bass, drums, piano, and both an electric and acoustic guitar. This back-to-basics approach is refreshing in an increasingly electronic world, and recalls the classic rock sounds of the '60's and '70's."I'm Done Running from You" sounds like The Beatles with a bit more of an edge, while tracks like "Peace of Mind" and "Don't Let Me Go" tap into the folkier side of roots rock.
The highlights of the album are two frantically-paced rockers, "Change" and "Shout It Out." "Change" includes a ferocious guitar riff and excellent, wild drums. Suddenly, the noise gives way to an adventurous orchestral section backed by acoustic guitar and some build-up play on drums. Finally, the riff starts back up and a brief yet still frenzied final section appears. "Shout It Out" is the more tame of the two but still packs a punch, with a calm verse eventually morphing into a more agitated chorus. "Do I even know what I'm waiting for?" asks a self-doubting Cronin.
MCII, like Daft Punk's earlier entry on this list, is simply a fun album to listen to. There's nothing overly spectacular about it, but MCII perfectly emobodies the idea of a solid record. No weak points, always above average, and extremely consistent, the latest solo release from Mikal Cronin is thoroughly enjoyable and shows his promise as a rocker in the future.
Key Tracks: "Weight," "Shout it Out," "Change"