Following a twelve year hiatus, former Hardheads and Watershed frontman Michael Cullen has brought out album number two. Listening to it, it feels like no time has passed at all as True Believer works as the perfect sequel to emotionally charged Love Transmitter.
Picking up from where he left off, True Believer takes Mr Cullen’s music to another level of atmospheric and hypnotic bleakness. There are elements of Mowtown, New Wave, and Post punk, just to name a few. The various elements meld together to create a deep smooth and all encapsulating vibe.
Once again Mr Cullen has recruited The Church’s Tim Powels to help out on the drums, piano, and organ. This paired with Michael’s heavy jagged guitars and deep baritone vocals creates a breathtakingly powerful sound that is not like anything else around right now! The old school production of the music gives it a great timeless / vintage feel!
Album opener Black Dog sets the scene for the album. Digging into the depths of depression, the lyrics are harsh and confronting, with powerful lines such as “I’m just a black dog, who can’t forget.” The agony and desperation is executed though Michael Cullen’s vocals. Amongst all this is the somewhat subtle reference to Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song.
The vivid feeling of breakdown and despair continues with the airy remote sounds of Believer. The bleak and desperate feelings of isolation come though in great atmospheric fashion.
I walk alone is a brooding new wave anthem. The slow new wave keys paint a hypnotic spacey soundscape that brings out a barren feeling of isolation. The slow deep vocals further add to the feeling of remoteness.
I never knew is a dark and chilling experience into a tale that went wrong! Michael Cullen goes for a spoken work vocal delivery that gives the gritty confronting words a vivid imagery.
The album closes with the rough and raw post punk tune Broken Horses. Showing elements of his pre solo work this track gives the album a nice sharp twist to the end!
Michael Cullen has followed up his debut release with another fantastic release that takes the power and emotion of Love Transmitter to a new level. Every bit of passion is poured into the music and felt the whole way through. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another twelve years before the next Michael Cullen album!
Check out Michael Cullen’s website to find out more!