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YOU SHOULD STOP THIS: "Ain’t No Stopping This" by Evan Michaels

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ALBUM REVIEW: Evan Michaels – Ain’t No Stopping This (independent) 2017

YUKON, Okla. -- Growing up in Oklahoma, I was taught from an early age to be diverse in my taste. To quote my mother, “There is nothing more disappointing than something or someone that’s one note.”

That is why I won’t show my Mom Evan Michaels’ new EP Ain’t No Stopping This.

On June 2, 2017, Michaels released his second album to the public. His first album, One More Friday, was released in 2008 and it granted him notoriety in the Red Dirt state.

And an EP called It’s About Time would be released in 2015.

His first album and EP gained traction by playing to a more acoustic, soulful type of people with stories heavily embedded into the lyrics. The difference between that album and this album is where the heart remains.

In Michaels’ new album, the heart lies in the money.

The best way to describe this man is as a discount Luke Bryan with no originality.

Evan Michaels grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma before discovering his talent for piano. It wouldn’t be until he went to Nashville and played guitar that he realized that he wanted to do music.

It’s a common phrase that Oklahomans of a kind must stick together. That might be true but I’d be selling my soul worse than him selling out originality for a paycheck.

Ain’t No Stopping This is a six-track EP featuring songs including “Ain’t No Stopping This,” “Too Big For the Both of Us,” and “Bet on a Back Road.”

Out of six songs, two could be the same song and two others are the same song with a different title. The other two are about having drunken sex and the other is about a murder after an affair.

It hits the country music trifecta by appealing to getting drunk, losing your girl and taking to a dirt road with a six pack while you sit on the tailgate. If you’re looking for some of the most generic lyrics this side of Great Value, look no further.

There is something that I must clarify here before the article can go on. I was raised by the influences of country artists like Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton. This would morph into a love of people such as Garth Brooks, George Strait and Carrie Underwood.

It is not that I don’t know or care for country; I just don’t care for this type of country.

This is not to discourage Evan Michaels from making music. His voice has the qualities to make in the music business but it doesn’t possess the right type of heart in the song.

That’s why artists like Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie work: They may not be able to sing but their soul is what drives the people to them to this day.

According to Billboard.com, the top 3 modern country artists are Chris Stapleton, Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line.

The two things they all have in common: They all sing country music and they’re all different from one another.

Each song on this EP reminds me of a bit done by Bo Burnham in his Netflix special called Make Happy. Burnham grabs his acoustic guitar and begins to sing, “You know the words. Dirt road, cold beer, blue jeans, red pickup. A rural noun and simple adjective.”

Allow me to explain.

If I took track two’s “Too Big For The Both Of Us” and track five’s “Bet On A Back Road”, you’d have the same song with a different chords. Aside from a different tune and the mention of a job that Michaels hates, there is not a difference to be made.

Another example is track three and six. “Must’ve Been Drinking” and “Like It Should” are songs about a man losing his woman and wondering if she’s thinking about him. All of this comes about after he had made a mistake drinking.

The only two songs that are relatively original is track one and track four. Even then, there are better renditions of the songs sung by Lady Antebellum and Garth Brooks.

Where the problem lies is in its originality. It was as though Michaels kept his station tuned into the local country music station and began to copy people. He picked up on the key words to use and he started singing to impress those around him.

Evan Michaels’ Ain’t No Stopping This is not the nail in the coffin. It’s more a kick towards the graveyard. Michaels has the chance to redeem himself but it will take a complete turnaround before its salvageable.

To learn more about Evan Michaels, go here. Or read Red Dirt Report's coverage of a 2009 Evan Michaels Band gig in Bricktown here.

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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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