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Michael Ubaldini's "Starshaker" leaves us starstruck

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Genres may come and go but the music will never die.

If you listen closely, you’ll feel the tides of new music crash over the old to form what’s new today. Jazz took blues while hip-hop replaced disco. It’s ever-changing yet ever-lasting.

Yet there is something that always withstands time: lyrics.

This is where Michael Ubaldini shines.

Known to some as “The Rock 'n Roll Poet”, Ubaldini has only released two albums in his career, Michael has gained a reputation as a more soulful singer.

First came Songster in 2015, then came Starshaker the following year.

As it’s shown in the music billboards, rock 'n roll hasn’t lived like it used to. According to, it’s been about two years since anything considered authentic rock has made it on the top charts for music.

Where the problem lies for rock n roll is the palette that Americans have at the moment. If it’s not club beats, it’s acoustic ballads. Americans want to feel something either physical or emotional yet never at the same time.

However, it would be a mistake for anyone looking for new music to pass up Ubaldini’s Starshaker.

Popping the CD into my laptop, my speakers roared with the growl of a biting electric guitar. It gave me chills by the first chord.

Ubaldini has a unique sense of music which catches the attention of anyone who happens to pass by. Not to mention, there’s a peculiar attribute to his voice that makes you want to believe every word that he sings.

It’s an attribute that’s been missing from the music scene for such a long time. With the exception of modern hip-hop and alternative, nobody dares to dream of lyrics past sex and adventure.

God forbid if someone felt anything otherwise.

As the album has 14 tracks on it, there is not a single one of these songs that I would ask for someone to skip.

This is not to be said in stride.

No album is faultless but this comes pretty damn close.

Each song on the album guides the listener down a road with catchy guitar riffs and a drum line that doesn’t quit. Even if the story has been told before, Ubaldini tells it so plain, so simple that you cannot help but tap your foot to it every time.

The top three tracks on this record have to be “Ballad of Brian Jones”, “House of Red Lights”, and “Tombstone Woman”. This is not to say the other songs aren’t exceptional; it’s just to say these songs felt attached to heartstrings.

What Ubaldini proves in this album is that you don’t need massive corporate backing and sell-out songs to become popular.

If anything, he defied it.

Starshaker is a testament to a perfect blend of rock n roll, blues and Neapolitan Americana. Music in the modern age cherishes the people who have something worthwhile to say instead of a barrage of billboard garbage.

Let’s hope that those who strive to listen to authentic music find Michael Ubaldini as I have.

As for Ubaldini, sir, you have yourself a newfound fan. Here’s to the next album.

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About the Author

Brandon King

Brandon King is a journalism student at OCCC, working towards becoming a professional writer....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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