For Keeps is the first track on Issues, and it showcases the work of a performer that has distilled a number of musical genres into a concentrated blast of rock. For Keeps touches upon the work of Lita Ford, Heart, and even finds time to take on a little Sheryl Crow. The tracks on Issues are tremendously personal, and I feel that listeners will be able to identify each of the sentiments heard here with a specific part of their own lives. This is particularly audible during Between You & Me. The track begins with a grimy, slinky guitar line that paints a distinct picture. The back and forth achieved with the vocal tracks on Between You & Me finishes this vision; listeners can easily imagine this taking place at a bar. Now or Never slows things down, and allows the instrumentation to take the dominant role. While the vocals are a major part of this track, I feel that the narration of the instrumentation is much more affecting. As a result, the vocals and instrumentation can be enjoyed as they push each other to near-perfection.
I feel that the nuanced style that is achieved through the entirety of Issues will keep listeners focused in and eagerly anticipating more. I believe that the cohesion that is present with these tracks makes for an album that sticks with listeners long after When It’s Raining wraps up. Falling Down is an early hit for Thornes, but is able to establish the sort of energy that Thornes needs to keep listeners focused in through the balance of the album. With this in place, Issues becomes one of the best albums that we have heard this year.
Top Tracks: Fortune’s Fool, Now or Never
Antoinette Michael Thornes – Issues (CD) / 2012 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.facebook.com/ThornesRocks