bluesy rock
nice chops but nothing new
can there ever be in this genre?

Grade - 1.4

released May 17th

from the album - Fallin' - 1.5

from all music


A guitarist/vocalist with a bent toward bluesy Southern soul, Michael Grimm is best known as the winner of the 2010 season of NBC's America's Got Talent. Raised by his grandparents in Waveland, Mississippi, Grimm became interested in music while attending the Baptist church, where his grandmother played the piano. Subsequently, Grimm grew up on a steady diet of church hymns and country music, and by his teens he was writing and performing his own music. Eventually, Grimm relocated to Las Vegas and became a fixture on the bar and club circuit, where his Southern soul and rock sound developed a following. Grimm released two independent albums before auditioning and earning his spot on America's Got Talent in early 2010. It was Grimm's performance of "When a Man Loves a Woman" on September 14th that helped take him over the top on the NBC singing competition. After winning AGT, Grimm released his third solo effort, Leave Your Hat On, and signed with Epic Records. Grimm's self-titled major-label debut, featuring production by Don Was, was released in May of 2011.

Album Review

Vocalist Michael Grimm's 2011 self-titled major-label debut builds upon the singer's soulful mix of Southern rock and R&B that helped him win the fifth season of the reality TV vocal competition America's Got Talent. Although Grimm has released several independent albums over the years, in many ways this album is his real introduction to most music fans and certainly maximizes his potential as a rootsy yet blue-eyed soul singer. Produced by journeyman musician Don Was, the album is a slick if still organic-sounding release, the kind that artists like Hall & Oates, the Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, and Donny Hathaway excelled at during the '70s and '80s. The comparison fits, as Grimm is the kind of vocalist perfectly suited for this sort of earnest, bluesy pop/rock. To these ends, listeners get the bold and fiery leadoff duet with Heart's Ann Wilson on Buddy Miller's "Gasoline and Matches" as well as a handful of other inspired covers, including a spine-tingling version of Alicia Keys' "Fallin'," a gritty duet with Travis Tritt on Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," and a gorgeous, perhaps definitive take on Chuck Prophet's "No Other Love." A songwriter in his own right, Grimm's compositions here are also quite good and add to the album's overall genuine tone. Ultimately, tracks like the Traffic-sounding slow-burn ballad "Stay with Me (Baby)" -- as well as the old Rod Stewart feature of the same name that he also covers here -- with Grimm clearly giving it all he's got, leave you with the impression that, while Grimm is obviously not fronting the Faces, he is certainly kicking ass.

Track Listing

1 Gasoline and Matches Miller, Miller 3:21
2 Something I Said Grimm, Hunter 4:28
3 Stay with Me (Baby) Ragovoy, Weiss 4:34
4 No Other Love Prophet 3:50
5 Simple Man Rossington, VanZant 6:37
6 Champagne and Wine Redding 3:09
7 Let's Make Love Again Grimm 4:41
8 Red Dench, Ghost, McFarnon 4:40
9 Suddenly You Are Grimm, Hunter 3:51
10 Fallin' Keys 4:49
11 I Am Grimm, Hunter 4:30
12 You Don't Know Me Arnold, Walker 4:18
13 Stay with Me Stewart, Wood 4:43