Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...
Michael Breen is a Canadian session vocalist / guitarist / keyboardist, one of these musicians that got the opportunity to record his own solo album.
Apart from his work as session man, he was part of the local band Concert who released one album in 1982 called 'Vitamin', and later, vocalist of The Sailcats.
Breen soon came to the attention of Alert Records owner Tom Berry who signed him to the label.
Being born in the french side of Canada (Quebec), they wanted songwriting partners to provide english lyrics for his songs to have a universal appeal. The first single, in example, was penned by by the soon-to-be-famous female vocalist Sass Jordan.
With the songs ready, and Michael playing most of the instruments, the album was recorded at the end of 1986 produced by Pierre Bazinet (Luba, Boulevard, Paradox).
Breen's self titled effort is a mix of Rock&Pop / Lite AOR in the typical canadian style and sound, with some Hi-Tech elements.
Songs like "Rain", "SOS Emotion" and "Risky" are keyboard dominated poprockers, the most commercial and radiable tracks on the album.
But with "How Will I Know" things start to become interesting. This is a good semi-ballad with more tough vocals (shared with Sass Jordan) and great keyboards. A song in the Tommy Shaw style.
"So Long" has a very classy sound, a relaxing late-night Lite AOR that reminds me Russ Irwin, with good keys and guitars. One of the best tracks here.
"Face To Face" is an old song written when Breen's was in The Sailcats, placed 2nd in the 1985 Music Express/MuchMusic National Talent Search contest. Another good one, an uptempo poppy AOR with nice orchestration.
"Do It" is the more guitar dominated track of the album. Richard Marx comes to mind, Brian Spence also. Good guitar solo.
"All The Way" is a 'techy' number with a catchy chorus, similar to Robert Tepper stuff. Breen's vocals are rougher and effective.
This album is a good exponent of the 'eighties canadian sound'.
Nothing spectacular or memorable, but a pleasant listen, well composed, played and recorded.
Impossible to find -particularly this CD version- (artwork included).
A collectible item.
01 - Rain
02 - Risky
03 - High And Low
04 - SOS Emotion
05 - How Will I Know
06 - So Long
07 - Face To Face
08 - Do It
09 - All The Way
10 - How Will I Know (Reprise)
Michael Breen: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bkg Vocals
Sass Jordan: Vocals, Bkg Vocals
Rest of Personnel: unlisted