Los Angeles native and veteran musician Michael Jensen decided to combine his first name and nickname to release albums in his solo project under the name Michael Fordays. After touring with several bands and projects he released four solo studio albums that feature his preferred styles and musical compositions, and now we are blessed with his 5th release entitled “The Mind and Echoes”. The record spans seven tracks and a range of styles from Classic Rock and Country to Alternative Rock and Americana…there’s something for everyone here.

The album begins with the strong opener, Slowly Now, which feels like a 2000s Alternative Rock banger with roaring guitars and powerful vocals. It’s remarkable how Michael chose to sing long and resonant vocal lines over his riffs and progressions to give the song’s groove more memorability and replayability. The brief but impactful solo towards its end was an amazing and climactic moment. Thanks to the amazing mix and production quality as well, you’ll be able to hear the bass and drums at a world-class level of clarity and beauty. The second song, Broken Wings, opens with a drum roll and a more aggressive vocal style with a bit of rasp and tension on Michael’s chest register, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The song has some Americana elements with its bass line and guitar tone making you feel like you’re watching an action movie with a fight scene or a cool car chase due to the amount of adrenaline you get from it. This is such a powerful energetic song for morning workouts or days when you feel low- trust me because I’ve personally tried it. F.A.T.A.L kinda continues with the same vibe and intensity of the previous track, except leaning more towards an Alternative Rock style with its guitar tone. I’m really in love with the buildup that the bassline and drums create and the chorus that follows them is just…chef’s kiss. This song was the one that stuck with me the most after I first heard the album and I’ve played it on repeat many more times than I could count. 

The fourth track, High Point Now, has an organ that brings some Classic Rock vibes to the listeners. The big surprise here though, was the new vocal style that Michael shows. He can easily flip into his mixed and head registers with quite a bit of nasality to accommodate the higher parts of the song’s melodic lines- a pretty tough task for male vocalists. I wasn’t simply impressed by his range but also by how clear and thick his intonation is…you could hear every single word with much clarity. The following track, Shine A Light, has a keyboard line and an easy-to-follow vocal melody that will get you singing along even if you don’t know the lyrics. Although the track is multi-layered and the drums have some fine details that you need to replay the song to fully grasp, the song is deceptively simple enough to stay stuck in your head on first listen. This is what I call superb songwriting and hit-making right here. Swirling In A Storm has some keys that give it a funky vibe during the verses, and thanks to its fast-paced drumming, I had my own headbanging fest with it. The way the guitars word-paint the same melody as the vocals in a beautiful synchronization just boggled my mind…I really wanna know how Michael came up with that, and the guitar solo with the wah pedal was the cherry on top closing the song with a (literal) high note. 

The seventh and final song, Far From Our Lives has a mid-tempo drum pattern and palm-muted strumming during the verses to give more space for the vocals to be heard. The moment the chorus kicks in, it makes everything around it smaller…All I could really think of at that moment was how much I wanna scream my lungs and heart out along to this song in a huge arena or a festival show with Michael. This is a great choice for a song closer because of how it captures all the elements present on previous tracks from the brilliant drumming to the occasional but impactful keys to the versatile vocals. It further emphasizes the idea that Michael Fordays is one of the most versatile artists that I have ever come across and would love to hear more from. I encourage you guys to buy this record on Bandcamp and help Michael make more music like this because five albums don’t quite cut it, and it seems with this release he has so much more to give to the music industry.