Mark Spiro
It's a Beautiful Life

1. It's A Beautiful Life
2. I Know Who I Love
3. Come Back To Me
4. Love Struck Dumb
5. Go Another Mile
6. Dance The Lonely Spotlight
7. Might As Well Be Me
8. Brand New Beautiful Day
9. Dream Big, Pray Hard
10. Everything I Do

Mark Spiro - Vocals, guitars, keyboards and programming

In Stereo (1986)
Care of My Soul (1994)
Now Is Then, Then Is Now (1996)
Devotion (1998)
The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of (1999)
King of Crows (2003)
Mighty Blue Ocean (2005)

John McLennon Guitars on “Might As Well Be Me” and “Everything I Do“


Released 27/1-2012
Reviewed 11/1-2012


American musician and composer Mark Spiro may be known for composing music for known bands like Cheap Trick, Reo Speedwagon, Giant and so on, or maybe for composing music that has been in films or for producing well received albums. They say that he has been involved in music that has sold in excess of 100 million copies, which is quite impressive I would say. Guess this guy has nothing to prove anymore but still does make music and he does it by saying that we don’t need wall street people as without them we’ll have a blue sky beautiful day. Something that of course is completely corrects, who the hell needs money? That song the eight one on the album seems to focus on why we, the ordinary people should bail out the rich who are represented by banks and big corporations, why shouldn’t they take their responsibility and be held accountable for their risks just like the rest of us? But don’t think it is a political album, because it isn’t just some text lines in that song which is more about seeing what’s good in the world rather than the opposite. It’s a Beautiful Life is the seventh album by Mark Spiro in his own name, and reviewers have been pointing out how he doesn’t rock particularly hard and some said that his music would disappear amongst all releases this year. Without going too much into what I think in advance I would just say that somehow I doubt the latest.

Musically I think that this probably is skillfully described by me as laid back melodic rock, it is quite low key and not in a higher tempo and the vocals is the most prominent element in the musical landscape. The instrumentation is sublime and does not take that much place, the fact is that it has a very natural feel to it, organic I think some would call it. It isn’t that mechanised in the studio as most music today is, it is simplistic and well performed without being even close to overproduced. Mark himself has a slightly nasal voice which in all honesty isn’t that brilliant in any way but he does sing with emotion and his voice blends in well with the instrumentation. Minimalistic laid back rock it can also be said to be and the production reflects that as it is one of the absolute best I have heard in a long time as all that is in focus on this album is the songs and you never even think about production unless you are writing a review and wants to add that into the review. The album has ten tracks and it plays for little over 41 minutes and never in those minutes does it get energetic or uptempo but it is still catchy.

I think this album is great, I don’t care if other reviewers think this will be swamped in the rest of the year’s releases because if it will this year will be brilliant and somehow I doubt it can be that great so I wouldn’t have this album in mind when thinking back of the year. Sure the year has only begun and I cannot for a fact know that but I think it is good enough to keep playing even though I have reviewed it now, there are so many tracks on this album that I enjoy listening to. I think the laid back attitude along with the catchiness in the songs is a great combination that is quite mesmerising and fascinating and it also invites to further listening.

I think there are four tracks that are especially worth mentioning and that is the opening title track which sets a great tone for the album and also is good enough to be a title track, then we have track seven, eight and nine which are three tracks in a row that just will blow you away with catchiness and great feel. Might as Well be Me, Brand New Beautiful Day and Dream Big, Prey Hard is the name of this trio of brilliance. Especially Brand New Beautiful Day sticks in my mind, a positive and great song that liven up the day no matter how poor it has been.

This is a great album, but sure if you want uptempo music you’d better look elsewhere but if you want really good rock music with emotion and quality, this is the one for you.





Label: Aor Heaven/Germusica
Three similar bands: Cheap Trick/Reo Speedwagon/Kansas
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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