Some years back I was asked by AAA Records if I would write the press release for the debut album by a young Auckland-based prog band to which of course I agreed and in due course I was speaking to singer Michael Brown of Outside In about their incredible release, Karmatrain. I have been fortunate enough to see them play a few times since then, while Michael has also been guesting with other people plus also putting videos up on Facebook of him singing covers. He has now decided to release solo material under the name of Mikey Videotape, and this is his first release in that guise.

Those expecting a single in the progressive vein may be somewhat disappointed, as instead what we have is a song which in many ways looks back to the Eighties and the music of Yazoo and a lighter version of Depeche Mode with layered synths and programmed drums. At the heart of this are Mikey’s wonderfully clear vocals, and the accompaniment is designed to lift them and provide the contrast between the programmed and the real, while the use of an acoustic guitar as the outro is a great way of showing variety. This is a commercial song, of that there is no doubt, and it would not surprise me to hear this on the radio as it is clean and modern while also dropping back nearly 40 years, the result being something which is immediate and full of hooks. Mikey is one of our finest clean singers, which is why he has been asked to perform with others, and this single demonstrates that well.

Rating: 8/10