We had already had a precious taste of him recently, with his splendid songwriting capable of shining in that emotional delivery that is his previous EP ‘They Look Just Like They Know’. If you missed our previous article you can find it here: Michael Baker // They Look Just Like They Know. And we admit it, we were skeptical even a talent like Michael could be able to surpass himself.
Yet Baker has succeeded once again. Reviewing an album is not exactly easy, especially when you have to grapple with the painful task of having to choose the best tracks, those you believe sound better or are more communicative. But there are times, like this one, when it is an arduous, if not impossible task.
Let’s clarify. As you read this exact paragraph of this review, we have reached the fourth track. So, almost halfway through the album. And before continuing to listen on, we go back to the track list to make sure we’re actually listening to an album with ten tracks.
The reason for our concern is simple. Every single track of ‘Salt’ is a magnificent single that far exceeds many of the songs that we listen to and promptly discard every day. Each song that makes up this incredible album is a complete product, a wrapped-up narrative parenthesis that with disarming consistency stands up on its own.
What surprises us further is the way in which each of these small great works is inextricably linked to the others. And this is not a simple combination of good taste or consistency, as is often done when creating the track list of an album.
Rather, the way in which the tracks follow one another is an impeccable argument that is part of a wide-ranging discourse, and each individual argument is an important and fundamental piece of a much larger design.
Each piece is unique because of its peculiarities and of the position it has within the general framework. Of course, that’s how an album should be created, we know it well. But taking this for granted, like believing that creating an artistic work like Baker’s is easy, is pure madness.
Anyone who has ever ventured into the production of an album, even of only 5 tracks, knows very well what we are talking about. In any case, regardless of this, ‘Salt’ is a soulful work full of heart, to be savored in its entirety, to be listened to again and again to discover every precious detail.
Precious in every ounce of its artistic weight, Michael Baker’s ‘Salt’ is an album that should be rewarded with a CD printing, if not even a vinyl one. A copy, ours, would already be in the cart.