Boston Groupie News

BAND:Michael J. Roy
TITLE: Eclectricty
GET IT:CD BABY 

Michael RoyA guitarist's first album would most probably be a guitar blow out. This is not the case with Michael Roy's effort.Eclectricty is foremost song centric and guitars serve the tunes with solos at a minimum. 
    Michael has played guitar and sung in Fox Pass from the beginning and that means 1974. I don't know why we get this now but it's a gem. The overall sound and writing reminds me of some of Richard Lloyd's solo work; good examples of this are Wherever You Are and the beginning of In a Well.

   Songs are mostly mid-tempo but don't drag because the songwriting is spot on. The guitar lines also carry the songs along. This can be heard on slower tunes like The Difference and Taking My Time where the melody and guitar lines are irresistible. 
   Roy has a clear voice with no affectations that fit the material and gives it emotion when required. 
    He's doing some interesting musical things with scales among other things but they are subtle and are not noticeable on a casual listen. There's something going on in Wherever You Are from the beginning but it's not until the solo where he uses an eastern scale that it surfaces to be identified.

   I have many favorites: Land of Forgotten DreamsTaking My TimeStop the Rain and Wired in Wonderland
   This has so many good qualities but in the end the best thing is that it's just so listenable

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The Top Ten Songs

          Artist                 Song                                 Album          Label

  1. Michael J. Roy Land of Forgotten Dreams | Eclectricity | Self Released 
    After years with Fox Pass guitarist Michael Roy puts out an outstanding solo CD.
TMR Zoo

Mike Roy’s first solo album features fourteen tracks by the long-time guitarist and founding member of pioneering Boston new wave band Fox Pass as well as Mercury recording artist Tom Dickie and the Desires. “Land of Forgotten Dreams” blasts things off at 3:27 proclaiming that the veteran performer has no intention of dropping the rock. The 4:48 of “Barely There” is a luxurious riff (think 2nd side of Abbey Road) that is an instrospective lament while “Stop The Rain” owes nothing to Creedence. More like a John Lennon Starting Over track if Darryl Hall and John Oates were collaborating with the Beatle. Stompers/Fox Pass rhythm section Steve Gilligan (Bass) and Lenny Shea Jr. (Drums) would make you possibly think that this is 3/4 Pass, but it is not. The lethal Gilligan/Shea combo doesn’t always have to play like Yardbirds to quote a review of Live Yardbirds”…ex-rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja bumped over on bass, Jim McCarty on effective drumming” which the liner notes to that classic disc called “twin-steam shovels” – a favorite line of Fox Pass colleague Fred Pineau (who has the same initials as Fox Pass.)

The 4 minutes plus of “On a Sunday” bring another brooding moment which blends into the uptempo “Your Own Way.” Roy seems to be looking back on these songs, and they would have been nice additions to the Desires albums for sure. “The Difference” and “In a Well” both clock in at four minutes and seventeen seconds each, “In a Well,” perhaps, the most likely candidate to be re-cut by Fox Pass for an album sometime in the future. “Wherever You Are” features the background vocals of Nancy Francis (not to be confused with long-time Fox Pass associate Nancy Neon) and that’s it for musicians, Shea, Gilligan and Francis buoy this extremely good solo recording from Mike Roy who plays every other instrument himself, a kind of Emmit Rhodes / Paul McCartney break-away from the full band Roy co-founded.

“Heartless” has fragments from the Crowded House hit “Something So Strong” – the first line of “Heartless”, “How can I begin” mirroring “Love can make you weep.” But it diverts quickly before going into “He’s So Fine’/”My Sweet Lord” territory so Tommy Mottola won’t have to come calling… Outside of the opening track (3:27,) “Heartless” (3:04), song 11 “Say Goodbye” (not Fox Pass classic “When I Say Goodbye) and track 13, “Wired to Wonderland” (2:38) the material veers mostly into four minute territory. There are many songs that are extremely appealing, but the 5:35 “Water from the Moon” is my favorite, thus far.

With bassist Steve Gilligan releasing multiple CDs, and Jon Macey’s Actuality In Process, Intenion and collaboration with Gilligan, Everything Under the Sun, it’s amazing that this is Michael J. Roy’s solo debut. “You’re Own Way” and “Water from the Moon” are catchy and memorable, so much material to absorb in what is certainly a burst of creative energy. Can’t wait for the next.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets.

The Noise of Boston
Eclectricity
 14 tracks 

Michael J. Roy is the long time guitar star and handsome fashionista of Boston and NYC bands Fox Pass and Tom Dickie & the Desires. The players here are Stephen Gilligan on bass and Lenny Shea, Jr. on drums of Stompers fame. Line up wise this is essentially Fox Pass sans Jon Macey. Roy is and has always been a sensitive, painterly guitar player who added color and emotion to the songs of the Desires and Fox Pass, as he does here on Elcectricity. His warm, soulful voice can cause even this reprobate’s heart to melt. It was always Roy who was chosen to sing the smoother, more melodic songs of Fox Pass. If it were the ’60s, I could envision Roy in a blue eyed soul outfit like The Rascals.  “Stop the Rain” kicks my ass. As does the Byrdsian jangle of “In A Well.” There’s not a dud here. Roy’s voice is heart-wrenching. He doesn’t pluck the heartstrings – he shreds them! Congrats to a fine artist and human being.     (Nancy Neon)

Five Bands Website

Fox Pass and the Modern Lovers connection: On the record with Jon Macey. Click the link for content.

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