Mickey Pye fought off tough competition to win this year’s Starmaker at Tamworth. With that effort comes great responsibility. You have to prove that you are worthy of that title. I first saw Mickey a few years ago with his equally gifted sister, Clancy, in a show which boasted lots of other wonderful young talent at Tamworth. The boy from Oberon seemed to be a mix of Keith Urban and the show’s host, Adam Toms, who could have been his long lost brother.
Mickey’s country music has an edge to it. Yes, this album – appropriately named, Unleashed – is tinged with Keith and Adamesque qualities, but there is a raw ingredient or two there which put a Mickey Pye stamp on it. Being compared to Keith and Adam is not a bad thing!
Mickey is a drawcard for a lot of the younger fans, but he also has enough traditional country rock in his songs to make us oldies sit up and listen too.
For the most part, the songs are very guitar driven, and Mickey can play the guitar like ringing a bell, as Chuck Berry would sing. On Sugar, not only are the guitars out in force, but the piano gets a work out, too.
Pye is not afraid to vary things. My favourite song on the album should be no surprise to those who read my reviews. I love Fix Things. It reminds me of Patches by Brendon Walmsley. It also shows that Mickey can sing a ballad as well as he can rock it out.
He has played with many bands and artists, most recently with Beccy Cole, who has been a great promoter for his talent.
When She’s Drinking was the first single lifted from this album and you can see why. It is probably the “most country” song on the album, not just because it is about a girl and drinking, but because it has a great backbeat and it appeals to both young and old fans.
Most of Mickey’s songs are catchy, toe tapping, shoulder shifting, singalong songs. Songs like One Big Party will go around in your head over and over. What Mickey has done with this album is make sure that he doesn’t take the edginess too far. He could have, but he doesn’t. It is a great album for a road trip or a Saturday night.
He respects the traditional sound and at the same time, he powers through with some cutting edge tracks that appeal to a wider fan base. It is unmistakably country, even in the rockier tracks, which is a tricky thing to achieve.
Wo oh oh oh oh oh….Past the Point will make you forget that you are on a train or a bus too, and you will break out into an embarrassing shoddy replica……not that I did that….in peak hour or anything…much.
Where the Angels Are is a beauty too and I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets released as a single at one point to show Mickey’s versatility. Unleashed, the title track is an instrumental which is quite powerful and thematic. I think that it has Golden Guitar written on it.
This album is very slick. It is well produced and polished. It ends with the very bluesy Monkey Around, which is a fun, funky song which is a huge contender for a shower song. I can imagine the folks getting up for a dance to this one.
This is a terrific album. It surprised me on some levels…..a nice surprise, but from that day that I saw him at Wests Leagues at Tamworth, I figured that the boy from Oberon would unleash himself fully on the public one day. Something for everyone.