RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Michael Stanley – The Ride
Live Eleven Music

Rating: A

Michael Stanley has consistently pumped out amazing music for nearly four decades.  Save for a few minor hits, he has never received the respect and success due to him.  His latest album, The Ride, hit the streets May 7th and continues his run of amazing albums, this one perhaps among his best. 

The Ride was mixed by Stanley’s good friend and producer extraordinaire (can you say the Who and the Eagles?) Bill Szymczyk.  Suffice it to say, this sucker sounds great!  No matter how good the audio quality, however, it is the music that matters.  And this music is amazing.  

Stanley has suffered through the loss of his beloved wife, making the song “All I Want” so damn sad that you can’t help but shed a tear for the man.  Stanley pumps his heart and soul into every musical passage on The Ride.  The musical and vocal performances on the album are stellar throughout.  

His take on the Bee Gee’s classic “To Love Somebody” is the icing on an already dripping with musical sweetness cake.  “Uptown” is another example of Stanley having fun while “Shiny Things” gets your toes-a-tapping and “Lucky Again” just rocks.  

Michael Stanley mixes blues with rock adding jazzy horn sections and often throwing in a tasty guitar solo, or two, for good measure.  From beginning to end this is, plain and simply, a damn good musical experience, proving, once again, that despite being the Rodney Dangerfield of rock and roll, Michael Stanley is the real deal. 

By Jeb Wright