MICHAEL CATTON – Point Of No Return (2023)
With a number of successful singles already released, British/Danish rock singer MICHAEL CATTON releases his debut solo album “Point Of No Return” on November 10, 2023 on Mighty Music. Catton (former Tainted Lady frontman) brings back the energy and flamboyance of 80s melodic hard rock with renowned producer and guitarist Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Electric Guitars) crafting a powerful and punchy production. Andersen not only produced, but play guitar and co-wrote most the songs. Also co-writer on the album and playing keys is Michael’s brother Chris Catton (Boys From Heaven).
The style of melodic hard rock that Catton deliver here embodies all the elements we love from the genre, and his tenor smooth vocals provides and AOR feeling on many songs as well.
“I was born in the 90s”, Catton declares. “I grew up after most of my favorite bands released their best material, and rock music has rarely hit those highs since. I wanted to make the album that I myself was longing to hear as a teenager. This is the album that has been missing from the record stores, the songs that have been missing from rock bar playlists, the passion that has been absent in so much music in recent years. With this album, I hope to carry the torch for the next generation of rock”.
Opener ‘Faith’ is an anthemic rocker with a harmonious chorus drenched in melody and passion. A powerful opener setting the listener up for what is to come. Then ‘Livin’ Lovin’ style is quite different – a boogie swagger similar to something you would hear from early Y&T. Those who love that type of groove will surely dig this one, however isn’t the best song on the CD.
Michael’s versatility in this album shines with the Whitesnake ’87 fuelled thumper ‘Armageddon Again’. To jump from influences like Tyketto to Y&T and then Whitesnake in the span of three songs is remarkable.
Then when you think you have him pegged, he goes and tries out his hand at Journey. The ballad ‘Never Say Goodbye’ could easily be mistaken for one of their songs. At a point in the song, Michael reaches Steve Perry highs without going to a falsetto. Not many singers can pull that off. What a vocal performance!
‘Ready for the Takin’ is a gem, a true representation of everything we love about the 80s hard rock sound. Theen Catton surprises again with ‘Lights Out’, a borderline metal track, similar in tone to Van Halen’s ‘Get Up’ from their 5150 album. It’s manic and high energy, with its lyrics reflecting both the horrors of nyctophobia and a panic attack. Terror never sounded so fun. An off the wall bonkers track in all the right ways.
Speaking of Van Halen, the Roth era gets represented with ‘Gas on the Fire’. Michael makes his vocal delivery similar to DLR with the melody matching to resemble something off Van Halen II. The song structure consists mostly of two verse lines followed immediately by the chorus, which consists of nothing more than a refrain of the title. Simple yet effective.
Another stellar tune is te melodic ‘Going Down’, a great mid-tempo rocker about a failing relationship. It’s remarkable how Michael can make such a sombre message sound so damn catchy.
Closer ‘Brother’ is a well-written piano-based ballad that showcases Michael’s vocal prowess.
Michael wears his influences on his sleeve for this release and has the chops to back it up. This album has tremendous replay ability and will be one of our top albums of the year. This man is incredible, and this album is truly a gift to all of us who grew up with 80s rock.
Get this album and spread the word, Michael Catton is the rock vocalist of the year.
01 – Faith
02 – Livin’ Lovin’
03 – Lights Out
04 – Never Say Goodbye
05 – Hearts in Danger
06 – Ready for the Takin’
07 – Armageddon Again
08 – Gas on the Fire
09 – Going Down
10 – Brother
Michael Catton (vocals)
Soren Andersen (guitars)
Chris Catton (keyboards)
Michael Gersdorff (bass)
Allan Tschicaja (drums)