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Now Hear This: Looking For You - Mr. Missy

Rating: ****

British Columbia-based musician/producer Marc Robichaud, AKA Mr. Missy, is hell-bent on not letting genres define him. From what I understand, he mixes them all up in a blender and spits out his recipe. As long as it's true to him, he's fine with the result. Sounds interesting.

I have to be honest, coming into this review, I knew nothing about him. I guess he's a long-time musician-for-hire and producer that plays a lot of different instruments. He took some time off to be a carpenter at one point, but ended up here, with a new LP called "Looking for You".

If you would have asked me when I woke up this morning (like 20 minutes ago) to review an album from a genre-bending Canadian that used to work with wood, I would have told you one thing: Hell yes. Sign me up. All day every day.

So with that, I'm gonna sip some coffee and throw this thing on. My thoughts, just a little bit down the screen.

The title track "Looking for You" starts with a strong country-western vibe, with a hint of Bruce Springsteen. The vocals are well-sung and melodic, but the song doesn't quite blow me away. However, I do love the jangly guitars. "When We Were Young" is a solid album track that doesn't quite have the catchiness of a single. However, the piano line throughout the track definitely sticks in your head. Lyrically, it's a nostalgia trip that really makes you miss those old days of growing up. I dig it. "Your Way or the Highway" is a single in the making. It's Americana music at its most engaging and hummable, and it's bar music at its very best. The song's catchy melody and lyrics are sure to get stuck in your head, and the upbeat tempo will make you want to get up and dance. Whether you're driving down the highway or hanging out at your local bar, "Your Way or the Highway" is the perfect song to add to your playlist. "The Story" is another example of Mr. Missy's ability to blend country and folk-rock. The song has a real Bob Dylan vibe, and I'm really enjoying this middle part of the album so far. "Tumbled Up in Love" (ironically after my last thought could be a take on Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue") is a turn to a more slower tempo, but is sung earnestly with guest vocals from Debra Pitre. It's sad and lovely, and the first true ballad on the record thus far. Next up is "Drink to the Future," a true blues jam. It's my favorite vocal performance on the album, and I'm so glad we have Tina Jones to guest on it. She's a powerhouse, and her voice really elevates the song. This is another banger. We've been stringing together quite a few good songs, and I'm excited to see how the last few on the LP sound. "Porch Light" starts with a drumroll, which I always love. It's another bluesy bar track that I can imagine listening to on my way out of town or on my way back from the bar. It's a really fun track. The penultimate song on the album "It's On You" is a catchy ditty with a Dean Martin vocal vibe. It's one of the more earworm tracks on the album. We close out this strong grouping of songs with the ballad "Next to You." It's a sweet and yearning song that is a great way to end the album.

Aside from the underwhelming title track, I thought "Looking For You" was pretty damn great. A mix of strong bluesy bar tracks and tender ballads, this album is sure to scratch that itch for fans of Dylan, Jeff Healey Band, and Bruce Springsteen alike. I highly recommend it.

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