Mike Marino & His Restless
Mike Marino has completed his third release Out Of The Darkness. My first impression was that he certainly has come a long way from the last release Another World.
In 2004, Marino was still developing his style and honing his skills as a singer/songwriter/musician. The rainbow you see behind him on the cover of this CD is indicative of the way he is feeling about life in general and the direction his career is going. This is all justifiable from my point of view as Out Of The Darkness is definitely his best work to date and a culmination of years of hard work and persistence.
Some artists give you the opportunity to look into their souls through their music and Marino is one such individual. There are some great tracks on the CD. Different aspects shine brightly. For me the one that stood out the most again was the message Marino is putting out there. He has a Dylan like style and approach, not to mention sounding like him on more than one occasion. "Racin' To A Red Light" is about the human "race" speeding towards the vortex of total insanity. This sits right at the top of the lyrics so you see it before the track begins, if you happen to be reading the words as it kicks in. I also enjoyed some of the fine guitar work that Marino presents in this project, whether its electric or acoustic, it is excellent. I have to mention that the artist was very smart about how this project came together; he managed to get some of the best musicians in the Tri-State Region to help.
"Stuck Out In The Rains" is a protest song, just like the 60's; it is very to the point and prolific. This is a track about the New Orleans floods and how Uncle Sam let everyone down .The abandonment and suffering of our own people was inexcusable. It hits home and leaves you feeling disappointed and wondering if something like that happened in your own town what would be the reaction of authorities that have control of funds and emergency relief.
That is the whole point of this project; Marino wants to make you think about the world you live in. He does it with music that has a 70's classic rock feel to it, with parts of country, Americana, and a little bit of the blues stirred in to give it the necessary emotion and power the lyrics need to make it come through consistently clear.
As far as I am concerned, the artist has taken his work to an entirely different level this time out. On a scale of 1 to 10, he went from a six all the way up to nine. This of course leaves room for improvement and the goal of reaching musical perfection is what all serious artists aspire to.