Album Review of
Future Shock

Written by Joe Ross
April 23, 2021 - 1:51pm EDT
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Two-time Emmy Award winner Michael Whalen gets his groove going with a variety of keyboards, electronic percussion and programming. Whalen’s ten compositions are strong musical fare that convey many moods from reflective and soothing (“Lights of Home” and “Your Eyes, Your Touch, Your Kiss”) to passionate and pulsating (“Future Shock” and “Poly Jam”). Other featured musicians include Simon Phillips (drums, percussion), Bob Magnuson (saxophone, flute, shehnai) and Tony Levin (bass, Chapman stick). They bring decades of veteran experience to the group’s propulsive sound, and if you listen carefully in some selections, you can hear Levin’s use of “funk fingers,” modified drumsticks attached to his fingers to slap his bass strings. Whalen’s sonic kaleidoscope swirls with elements fusion jazz, prog-rock and electronica. We even hear the influence of world music in “La Hermosa Noche” with its contemporary Latinesque feeling. “Miracle Mile” and “Memories of You” and “Morning on the Cape” are melodic, mid-tempo standouts, but one of the most thrilling tracks of all is “Wanderlust” with its dizzying rush of electronica and rhythmic intensity.   (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)