In these days of frivolous studio hooks, the lyrics are in danger of becoming a lost art. The best pop music tells a story, often utilizing the universal language of love. Singer/songwriter Michael Stosic is well aware of this, producing a smoothly crafted Adult Contemporary effort, a self-titled album that borrows liberally from ‘70s and ‘80s soul and R&B, jazz, and soft rock. Hall & Oates may have ironically become the toast of the indie scene of late, but it’s Stosic who really carries the flag of their influence.
“The way you look at me with your cold-black eyes/Why do I always have to melt inside?” laments Stosic on “Backstreet Dancer,” a moving tale of unrequited love. “Backstreet Dancer” encapsulates Stosic’s primary style – sleek, jazzy grooves enveloped by tasteful guitar and romantic sax. It is the stuff of AM radio gold, a throwback to a more innocent time in popular music. The break-up track “Easy Come Easy Go” achieves its melancholic power from its plaintive, mellow piano and Stosic’s warm croon, which is set in front of the mix.
The blue-eyed soul and ‘80s gloss of “If You Ever Change Your Mind” is another of the CD’s highlights, recalling the heyday of Hall & Oates. The light funk of “Can’t Say No” and sweeping beauty of “Be Easy Love” cuddle the heart, helping elevate this record to among the year’s finest.