By Jennie Orton
Michael Rault live is a wee force to be reckoned with, blasting out legitimate ‘60s-style stomping rock all by himself by playing guitar and employing a kick drum, or joined by a full band for a riveting performance. It’s a unique experience, a harkening back to a classic sound with a gumption that celebrates his youth and a skill that belies it.
That spirit of steeped influence seems to be slightly modernized in his latest offering, Living Daylight. Taking a page from the Black Keys’ book, Rault has embraced that pop-inspired dip into which people seem to be putting classic-sounding rock to make it more palpable. Though the album is most notably about a lost love, the tempo is up; quite up. Jaunty, one might say. From the first notes of “All Alone (On My Own),” you can feel that kind of vanilla, highly produced sound. Rault’s vocals also feature that singing-into-a-tin-can reverb that Dan Auerbach has decided will be his signature. The result is an easy-to-hear album full of songs you could listen to with your window down on a sunny day while on your way to do nothing dangerous.
It isn’t until most of the way through track three, the ambling “Real Love Yeah,”that you get to hear any of Rault’s guitar playing prowess, albeit for only a couple seconds. The spirit of his other music is buried there, deep under an overall sound that comes across agreeable and harmless but also lacking in anything really captivating. This is music to play in the background at a pool party, and is a far cry from the locomotive of gritty sound that comes from Rault onstage.Living Daylight, Michael Rault