Michael J. Thomas
By Kabir Sehgal
Michael J. Thomas is a man of many talents. He composes, arranges, performs, and improvises. Above all, he connects. And by that I mean he radiates the music that he hears in his heart to his audiences, who have come to know this maestro for his compelling and emotionally-charged performances. When Thomas embarked upon creating Stream’n Love his goal was to “reconnect with the audience,” as he puts it. Growing up, he admired artists such as Stevie Wonder, Crosby Stills and Nash because they sang about love without compunction. That Michael wanted to create an EP with love as the guiding motif is certainly laudable. We need more heart and welcoming spirit in the world.
What makes this production particularly noteworthy is Thomas’ first-class execution on every song. The first piece, “I’ll Never Love Again” is a cover of the Lady Gaga collaboration. Thomas breathes new life into this rendition with his soaring and warm saxophone. The guitar accompaniment of Chris Blackwell and sound design by Trammel Starks are highlights of this song and throughout the album. “Sippin The Yak” and “Limit the Goof” demonstrate Thomas’ prowess as a writer who composed these pieces with Starks. These feel good numbers feature deep grooves, and Thomas’ performances are the definition of sincere – his heart on his sleeve and through his horn. The title track “Stream’n Love” is indeed an enveloping ballad. “We wanted the title to convey a stream of love to the listener.” The EP also features the cover “Only Love” (instrumental and vocal editions), this time rendered beautifully by Thomas and his talented team.
Thomas wanted to spread more love in this world. His work is empathetic and ebullient. And yes, full of love.