Alex Faulkner Review: “Phil Mitchell is a composer, author and musician hailing from Chicago and the members that comprise the Phil Mitchell Band are musicians native to that area. He started writing songs while still a child and has written music in an eclectic range of genres including jazz, classical, RnB, rock, blues and country. He has released several albums including Morning Star, America and 2014’s Crossroads. The band formed back in 2004 and they have performed at a variety of venues whilst recording music in the studio.
About The Album
This album, A Better World, consists of eleven tracks. Second track Never Let It Die, is even better. It’s a ‘lighters in the air’, euphoric rock anthem with an instantly memorable title hook. Starting out in half time, it flips to straight 4/4 for the final minute, ending with glorious Evanescence-style classical piano. Featuring a magnificent vocal performance and more killer lead guitar, it’s the kind of great rock/pop that has been sorely lacking from mainstream music. A natural choice as a single. My Love Is True is an unexpected surprise, a female sung pop track in the unusual but highly effective time signature of 6/4. It brought to mind the Stevie Nicks songs of Fleetwood Mac, but also a soul/RnB influence which keeps it sounding modern. Musically, it’s a fantastic blend of tight, funky guitars and nicely overdriven Rhodes electric piano. Again, the catchy chorus is of the highest calibre and would make a great, radio friendly choice as a single. Then comes another gorgeous piece of songwriting, the title track. It’s a James Taylor/Simon and Garfunkel style acoustic ballad with an intimate and heartfelt lead male vocal, wonderfully counterpointed by female backing vocals. The arrangement gradually builds to a mid paced groove with some exotic instrumentation that gives real richness and variety to the sonic texture. The theme of the song is rather moving in an understated way, the title hook capturing this succinctly: “Just searching for a better world for you and I… Glory Train is a fine country rock song set at a languid tempo to begin with, the vocal melody doubled by piano. It then shifts to a galloping 2/4 rhythm that cleverly depicts a train in full motion. Having a verse and chorus in different time signatures is a difficult trick to pull off but it’s done with consummate ease, a classy acoustic guitar solo the icing on the cake. God Bless this Child features some strong vocals of Natasha Shayenne with some similarities to “Bridge over Troubled Water”. Ninth track The World Is A Beautiful Place is a change of pace once more; a toe tapping funk pop track with Nile Rodgers-type slick guitar and some superb drumming. The second section has some adventurous chord changes that shows the deep harmonic knowledge behind the songwriting, yet it still works simply as just a very catchy pop track.
Overall, this is a hugely eclectic and wide ranging set of songs unified by the powerful artistic vision of Phil Mitchell. The album runs the gamut of human emotions, all expressed through a constantly evolving mixture of genres and styles. The mixture of male and female vocals only adds to the variety but, most importantly, there’s several songs here that are potentially huge hits and the album as a whole deserves to be a huge success.”