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Hopefulness - Michael Carpenter


Label:Not Lame Records
When! Records (UK)
Released:2000
Highlights:Kailee Ann
Hopefulness
Believes Again
Is This Love I'm Feeling
Someday (Smile Again)
Rating:9/10

It was always going to be a hard task for Michael Carpenter to surpass his debut album, Baby, but he has come as close as one could hope for with his second album, Hopefulness. A more straight ahead and consistent pop album, Hopefulness is actually better but for me lacks the spark and range of Baby. Thatís not to say that there arenít moments of pure pop enchantment, such as in the Beach Boys styled title track and the beautifully sincere Is This Love Iím Feeling. If the Beatles had reformed and recorded one more album before John Lennon's death, it would probably sound a lot like this. Still, I canít help but feel that several tracks, especially Since I Found You and You Wont See, are just too commercial sounding, for my tastes anyway.

I have no doubt Hopefulness will make Michael Carpenter a star in the influential American power pop scene. The fact that he still doesnít have an Australian record deal is a poor inditement on Australian music but at least the rest of the world seems to have cottoned on to what a remarkable talent he is.

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