Danny Michel Loving the Alien: Danny Michel Sings the Songs of David Bowie

What began as a spare-time lark turns out to be a remarkably worthwhile covers project bound to garner Danny Michel all kinds of attention. From the plucky, acoustic opening strains of lead-off number "Young Americans,” Michel's intention to playfully interpret, rather than simply ape, is clear. And while a couple of these 11 tracks do adhere pretty closely to the originals, it's the ones Michel takes the most creative liberties with that score big points. A slight tempo shift to "Always Crashing In the Same Car” affords the song bona fide toe-tapper status. Ditto for "Sons of the Silent Age,” the arrangement of which benefits from some twists, emphatic stops and a dramatically quickened pace. Who would've imagined "D.J.” was effectively a full-on disco number? Or that "Red Sails” had so much single potential? More than anything, it's Michel's respectful attention to certain small details, both musical and emotive, that'll endear those versions to serious fans. His choice of less-than-obvious songs is enough to pique interest alone. It's worth mentioning that Michel not only sings but plays most of the instruments here. And given the quality of the performances and the self-production, no one who hears this disc will ever second-guess this artist's exceptional talents. If word of the quality of this effort gets out internationally, and distribution follows suit, Michel may end up with a serious left-field hit on his hands, along with a potentially frustrating reputation as a Bowie interpreter first and a singer-songwriter second. (MapleMusic)