MICHAEL STAERTOW encases all aspects of musicianship into one finely tuned package. He's got the mind, the appearance, the talent and the dedication that pull together to define art. After many years of perseverance, study and perfection, he is geared up to send the world of rock music on a one way trip to a melodic nirvana.
Michael Staertow's 11 track disc is a calculated and precise album that hints at many different styles of rock without getting overly friendly with any of them. With a keen sense of groove, Staertow lays the guitars down thick and rich ("Hydrostatic"), yet he also has a penchant for going the three-part harmony route, too, a la King's X ("River Of Sin"). Hitting up the progressive rock and 80's metal genres for seasoning, Staertow's flawless guitar work and stellar production help his songs to sound symphonic, but the rock swagger still shines through ("Honestly"). A solid piece of rock that has a little bit of everything for everyone. "The Music Korner"
Out of the New York area comes guitarist/vocalist MICHAEL STAERTOW. His debut solo CD 'Oxygen' features 11 tracks and the production sounds pretty good. Musically it is a mixture of AOR/Melodic Rock and some sort of psychedelic 70s retro-poprock. Opener "Wastin' my life away" is a good midtempo melodic rocker with a nice chorus. Next track "Elephant" is a quirky poprocker and features the psychedelic influences (mainly the vocal parts that remind me of ENUFF'Z'NUFF). The same ENUFF'Z'NUFF typed vocals can be heard in the poprocker "River of sin". Somehow the song "Promise" reminds me of the last NELSON album, because the song is an acoustic poprocker with melodic harmonies and sounds rather catchy, but also poppy and radio orientated. A decent 70s typed Hard Rock song is the following track "Hydrostatic". The instrumental intro "0797" is up next, while the calmer semi ballad "Walk away" slows things down. One of my favourite tracks is the uptempo melodic rocker "Love for you", a straight-ahead song with a pure 80s sound and DEF LEPPARD typed harmonies, quite catchy indeed and a lovely guitar solo as well. Next track is "Cry my name", a nice rocker with 70s rock influences in the groovy guitarplay. Quite melodic is the semi rocker "Honestly", a song that sounds like MR. BIG mixed with late JEFF PARIS. Closing track is the instrumental outro "I love you mama". This is a nice little record by a talented musician. (Points: 7.5 out of 10)
Gabor Kleinbloesem Editor of Strutter'zine