CD Review: Michael Hubbard – “The Breakup”

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Texas native Michael Hubbard has a wide range of experience in pop, rock, and blues groups. From performing at South-by-Southwest, to the Grand Ole Opry and tours of Europe, he brings a somewhat global perspective to his debut solo EP The Breakup.

While Hubbard wrote, produced, and played most of the instruments, he opted to have different lead singers on each track. A clever move, considering the varied styles on display.

Having dabbled in pop, country, rock, blues, and jazz, his EP effectively reflects these influences. Leaning more toward soul, the other genres bubble up naturally. “Time,” for example, floats on a sea of Euro-flavored synths as guest vocalist Shaniqua Williams croons “You never call/You never text me/A vacancy inside my soul, yeah/ Until it’s time you wanna sex me… /Ain’t nobody got time for that.” Nice chorus, and a storyline you can root for.The bridge gets all synthy and funky at the same time, which may be off-putting to fans of more commercial music, but it’s very cool.

On “Letting Go,” guest vocalist Brittni Jessie sings a lovely minimalist song that simply explains how the singer is letting go of emotions and people that stand in her way of happiness. Mellow, but inspiring.

“Just on the Dance Floor” seems to be inspired more by a time than by a particular genre of music. It’s straight up ‘80s R&B. It’s got a nice groove and bit of a hook and sounds just ever so slightly like solo Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), at least in the backing tracks.

Similarly, things go all Chicago-y on “’Fore You’re Gone,” but, in this case, it’s the band Chicago and not the town as horns set the mood from the start. However, when Quentin Moore’s vocal starts, it’s more Philly soul. A nice hybrid of styles. Indeed, Hubbard seamlessly brings together his various influences, but it doesn’t always stick. That being said, it’s possible that individual listeners will favor different tracks.

7 Stars Out of 10

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PF WilsonCD Review: Michael Hubbard – “The Breakup”