Michael Mangia The Invisible Wall

Michael Mangia is just another musician from Los Angeles trying to catch a break, but he was fortunate enough to get one. His moment came when a couple of songs from his debut album, Utopia, were used on everyone’s favourite supernatural soap opera, Passions, and that allowed him to build his own home studio in which to indulge his musical indulgences. The Invisible Wall isn’t nearly as clever as it thinks it is. It is a concept album, supposedly about a painter and the many different characters that inhabit his paintings, yet the story isn’t really obvious to the casual listener. But even those listening more closely will find the plot a little on the pretentious side and not particularly engaging either. That simply leaves a collection of songs, and on that level, The Invisible Wall isn’t a terrible album. Mangia writes retro-sounding pop that has been heavily influenced by the Beatles and even Tears For Fears, but at times he sounds eerily like Rufus Wainwright, albeit a much less talented version. Maybe another soap opera will need some harmless background music sometime soon. (Independent)