Mike West – The Next Life Album Review

Posted on 10 July 2020
By Dana Andersen
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Alt rock musician Mike West, is preparing to release his first full album, The Next Life.

The Wirral based musician has certainly grown since he began performing in 2016, and this self released, 9 track album, stands as a testament to what he’s learnt and experienced in these years.

Title track ‘The Next Life’ lets you know what you’re in for with the album, beautiful lyrics weave together to create a story in which you can lose yourself, while West’s guitar pushes the song forward.

The addition of other string instruments really adds some romantic country vibes, as well as filling out the songs, and adding some delicate melodies to an otherwise fairly heavy album.

Work On and What If really show off West’s talent as a guitarist, with catchy riffs and real emotional vulnerability shining through the lyrics.

Coincidentally, Work On stands out as a real gem on this album, along with Father To Son and No Grave.

Although there isn’t a bad song on this album, those three especially have a drive to them that make them a joy to listen to.

The main downside of the album, unfortunately, is West’s vocals. Though he has become known for having a ‘growl’ that makes him stand out, its not always for the right reasons.

There are moments he sings with clearer vocals, and he has a voice filled with emotion and clarity, which works much better for several of the songs on this album.

It’s great to have a niche, and its clear this is where he found his slogan of ‘Not Country Enough. Not Blues Enough. Not Folk Enough. Too Heavy’, but it’d be nice to hear him sometimes work to have his vocals feel more in place with the incredible songs he’s creating.

Overall, The Next Life is a great album, filled with well written songs, and you can hear that West is a greatly talented musician.

In future though, it’d be interesting to hear him use his skill to understand when a song should be filled with chest rattling growls, and when it might be better to let us hear a side of him that isn’t ‘too heavy’.

Today see’s the release of single Rock Ferry, the tenth track on the album, with the full release due to follow on August 7th.