I feel like I’ve been waiting for a new album from Michael Rault ever since the moment A New Day Tonight hit the turntable. That album was constantly stuck in rotation for me when it came out and it felt like Rault was the kind of studio-camped songwriter that ought to have a wealth of cult-favorite records readily gaining breakwater status. His eponymous new album makes good on the promises of ANDT, a record that’s already poised to be the kind of soft-scrubbed, yet heady entry into his legacy. With nods to 10cc, McCartney, Harry Nilsson, and Stevie Wonder the record certainly captures a bit of ‘70s grandiosity, though it also nips at obscurities like Billy Nicholls’ less celebrated (though it should be) sophomore album Love Songs or Shaun Harris’ quintessential eponymous L.A. breakup album.
Where the sheen that permeates the LP would have been shuttled into the AOR bin in the era it seeks to emulate, now there’s a certain 20/20 hindsight to a lot of the albums that were once peered with a side-eyed stare. Digging through the $5 bins for cocaine country, studio hermit soft rock perfectionists, and lightly shifted power pop impresarios seems like just the trick these days. There’s divinity in the crisp, uncrackled soul sliced down to 24” tape. Triple stacked harmonies and Hammonds that hum on 300 horsepower bump heads with spaced electronics and crystallized guitar runs that would make Rundgren salivate. Rault’s works aim to become the future secret handshakes between crate rustlers and audiophile freaks alike. It’s the kind of record that should be used to prove the prowess of your speakers, but all the same, it might wind the night down to a gentle thrum. If you’ve been missing out on Rault’s brand of butterfly-collar sparkle up to now, its time to hit up this S/T masterpiece and work your way back.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.