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CD Reviews: Michelle Albano
Michelle Albano: Second Guesses
May 2005
By: Marco Nieves
album cover of Michelle Albano's Second Guesses

To put this as humanly clear as possible, we're all, always, relentlessly and disarmingly soul-searching--- in your house when it makes strange noises at night, in your significant other when you wonder if it will be forever, in a good movie or in a new CD that called your attention. Little do you (and I) know that Michelle Albano holds answers to this intrepid hunt. Her album Second Guesses, a radial debut, brings the listener a complete set of soulful piano-pop-rock with a pinch of R&B that will make you wonder where Vonda Shepard went to hide and why can't you stop bobbing your head, stumped by how that voice can come out of a young woman with a model smile.

The genre of this album, as you may have noticed, is hard to pin down, but nonetheless persuasive to enjoy completely. It's not foolishly whimsical, but clever and fresh. Michelle's style is, most of all, invigorating and inviting. Songs like Bye Baby and Reason are tracks that deserve highlighting, where she sings about breaking the ties and coping with it, for better or worse. Right On Time and The Hour are about finding and appreciating love, making it sound so amazing that it feels like you are basking under an aerial bliss that renovates the cracks of broken hearts. Painting By Numbers is the gem of the album. Mellow and moving, it is so affective that it will touch everybody that has felt like he or she needed to fit into a certain mold that cannot hold everything they are worth under such a limited space. Second Guesses illustrates exactly how Michelle distributed her strength and utilized her weaknesses to finally understand love and gain confidence.

As I said before, soul-searching is heavy on the back and exhausting against the feet, but all these steps are within love and disappointment and they can only count if your pace is steady and centered. Without the needed sagacity to overcome all the bumpy perils, one is bound to get stuck on miasmas that will cloud judgment and reason, ending the search in impossibility. Felicitously, Michelle knows exactly where to go. To witness when she collected her soul and put it all out on a wonderful debut album is incredibly humbling and deliciously infectious.