Mitch Laddie is known for the way he makes his guitar sing the blues. Listen to his albums Burning Bridges, This Time Around, Let You Go and Another World to hear his talents at work. However, early this year his single “Musk” showcased a different sound and surprised long term fans. No longer stealing the spotlight with his blues licks, he now delivered a sexy electro-funk groove. He then confirmed there was more music like this to come.
When talking about his upcoming release, Laddie says “This album started with an idea – to make a record on my own with a completely different direction. All the instruments (minus some great guests), all of the production, mixing and mastering. I wanted to make something that was inspired and influenced by the classic records and artists I grew up loving. The 70s and 80s, when records were about going out, dancing and having a blast. The Quincy Jones era of gold, Prince, Stevie Wonder, The Jacksons, but fuse it with all of the contemporary artists I love now: Frank Ocean, Dabeull, Nao, D’Angelo, with a sprinkle of the 80s soundtracks I adore. I wanted to hit on a vibe I haven’t recorded before, moving away from the Blues/Rock scene I was born into and show people what I’m really about. What came out was something bigger than I ever could have hoped for, this is a project I can say I’m truly proud of. It’s me”.
Well, the time has come for Mitch Laddie to set his album Wave of Illusion out into the world. He begins it with a short intro called “Start Up Disc 2020”, which is followed up by “Dig a Little Deeper”. Instantly you can hear how his influences growing up have shaped his new sound. Its 80’s electro-pop vibe oozes throughout the song. Not only that, his vocals have been recorded and slightly altered to match the mood. Adding to this is his trademark guitar skills which shine during a solo moment. It all comes together to create a strong and impressive start. Following on comes “Moonlight” which offers more of his retro soundtrack.
“Do Me Right?” offers some infectious beats with some funky licks. It’s a combination that sounds so good. However, it gets eclipsed with the arrival of “Right Thing”. Again, you can hear Laddie’s influences at work with more of that infectious retro vibe, especially with the synths. With this song, it also offers a cleaner vocal performance and with it, enhances the listening experience. Especially during the hook which gets the listener singing along with “real thing”. It is a great catchy pop track that will become an ear-worm.
Things slow down for “Wave of Illusion” and deliver a more soulful mood. The change of pace allows Laddie’s vocals to steal the spotlight. On previous tracks that music stands out for various reasons, but on this one, they are less of a distraction. He lets his soft emotive tone grab the listeners attention. It also allows his lyrical talents to stand out. An example of this is the lines “One world is all we got / And it’s time we came together / One heart in unity / Working to make it better”. “Human” has a challenging task of following such an outstanding song but manages to hold its own.
Now comes “Musk”, the show-stealing moment from the album. It is no surprise it became the lead single. From the start, its beats and funky groove have a sexy feel to it. Something the likes of Prince knew how to do with his music and Laddie has tried to capture the same kind of mood. Even the lyrics reflect this tone and influence, especially during its hook “’til we musk / musk until it’s dripping down / ’til we musk / spin your head right around”. Here is a song that stands out for not one reason as every element of it is so right. Just press play and let the music do the talking.
Wave of Illusion offers a different side to the music of Mitch Laddie and its good!
“Dirty Kink” and “Control” are the last two songs of the album. Both have the same foundations as those prior and stand out on their own merit. Unfortunately, they have a tough job following the epic “Musk”. Laddie ends the release with the short sound byte “End of Program”.
This album was a change of pace and may have some of his fans divided with this new direction. Personally, it is a brave decision that has paid off. Not only does it showcase the depths of his musical talents, but his vocals sound better than ever. Now the decision is, does he return to his bluesy roots or stay on this new path. Check out his previous releases as well as Wave of Illusion, then choose for yourself. Either direction will mean great music, so it’s a win-win.