Danny Michel In the Belly of A Whale

Danny Michel, who hails from Southern Ontario's divided city Kitchener/Waterloo, may not be taking a conventional career path, but his profile amongst fans of intelligently written, lyrically astute pop is on the rise, simply by force of Michel's will, tenacity and determination. In the Belly of A Whale is his fourth album in as many years, and he wants to continue at that pace throughout his career. His plaintive, childlike voice and songcraft have matured into a signature sound on his last couple of albums, and In the Belly of A Whale picks up where last year's Fibsville left off. That Michel has been able to develop while flying under the hype radar bodes well for his development as a musician and in his career, an opportunity that wasn't afforded a similarly talented Hayden only five years ago. Belly is a bit on the long side - more the product of having too many good ideas than succumbing to bad ones - and that makes Fibsville a better start for newcomers, but those who've already discovered Michel's charming genius don't need to be told, Belly is their new soundtrack to summer. (Independent)