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Rocking Into Midnight is the new anthemic collection by artist Sanjay Michael who is currently based out of Singapore. The album is a concerted effort to bring rock ‘n’ roll back to its core, to strip back all of the superfluous and return it to the state that Michael enjoyed it in his youth. This means loud guitars through larger amps à la Def Leppard’s Hysteria. Therefore riffs, energy, and fun are prioritized over deep concepts and intellectual posturing, and it’s actually refreshing to see an artist willingly acknowledge this and purposely guide their music in this direction.
There is a clear influence of AC/DC on songs like the riff-centered title track “Rocking Into Midnight” and “Vampire Girl,” but Michael is closer in spirit to Cheap Trick and later-solo Paul Westerberg, artists participating in the rock tradition but with a wink and a nod. Michael also throws in a dose of southern blues for good measure on “Rattlesnake Shuffle” and there’s a charming naivety and earnestness to other tracks like the semi-acoustic love song “Fly Away.” It’s as if Michael is sampling bits and pieces of the genre, a Whitman’s Sampler of rock ‘n’ roll, and Rocking Into Midnight succeeds wonderfully as a loving tribute in its own charmingly honest way.
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