Michael Lynche - Michael Lynche

Michael Lynche
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Big dreams, big talent, big-statured and big-hearted. For all of those reasons, Michael Lynche was one of the most memorable contestants from Season 9 of American Idol , thanks to a piercingly powerful rendition of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” and his chameleon-esque adaptability to  multiple genres of music. Fans who championed the 29-year-old Floridian and looked forward to what he would deliver outside the confines of the reality show will enjoy his self-titled CD, a debut featuring fringe elements of pop, blues and gospel , yet steeped in contemporary and classic-styled soul.

Big dreams, big talent, big-statured and big-hearted. For all of those reasons, Michael Lynche was one of the most memorable contestants from Season 9 of American Idol , thanks to a piercingly powerful rendition of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” and his chameleon-esque adaptability to  multiple genres of music. Fans who championed the 29-year-old Floridian and looked forward to what he would deliver outside the confines of the reality show will enjoy his self-titled CD, a debut featuring fringe elements of pop, blues and gospel , yet steeped in contemporary and classic-styled soul.

In recent interviews, Mr. Lynche has stated that it took nearly 18 months to craft the songs and get the right sound in place, and the effort was well worth the wait: of the thirteen tracks, all but one were co-written by him and he delivers the lyrics with silken self-assurance. There’s the already-established hit single, “Who’s Gonna Love You More,” a scintillating slow jam rendered with uncommon adoration and tenderness that’s become all but extinct in today’s ‘she-can-get-it/let-me-hit-it’ era of R&B: “Girl, let me set the record straight, cuz’ you need to know before it’s too late/that there ain’t no other man who could do the things I do for you, you know it’s true/And you never felt the way you feel when I’m making love to you, that’s why I can say if it ain’t me, who’s gonna love you more….” “Love Is You” starts off gentle but grabs and galvinizes the listener as Lynche recounts a life-long yearning for, then the discovery of, the right one.  “Intoxicated” and “Speechless” showcase other increasingly rare facets in urbanized love songs: awe and vulnerability about his lady that aren’t restricted to how well she happens to fill out a dress. And even when Lynche does turn up the heat (Lovers Symphony,” “Sex”), the performer emphasizes sensuality over the sexualized synchronization of body parts.

Thanks to his overall range and virtuosity, Michael Lynche is able to embody styles that would easily stretch beyond the skill set of other R&B peers: his brilliantly-recallibrated cover of “This Woman’s Work” is worth the price of an iTunes upload all by itself, and what would’ve been a potentially awkward song for most of his R&B peers, the acoustic-flavored Daddy-to-daughter ode “Baby Boo,” manages to be adorable. A plea for forgiveness (“Today”) and the empowering “Somebody Save Me” are as compelling as the faith-fueled finale, “Unstoppable,” a contemporary gospel groove that should do Lynche’s father’s church proud as he testifies to how much he can overcome through God’s wisdom and grace: “When I’m close to giving up, and I know I’ve had enough, it’s You/that takes me higher (higher) and makes me stronger (stronger), keeps me running faster, harder…..I can even walk the water too/ I’m unstoppable, I’m unstoppable…”

There’s still four months to go in 2012 and other releases have yet to emerge, but one would be hard-pressed to find a debut that’s as focused and full of finesse as this CD is. He may have lost out on the American Idol crown, but Michael Lynche will convince anyone listening that it isn’t a game of checkers he’s playing, it’s chess…and the man is poised to win.  Highly Recommended.

By Melody Charles

 
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