Mike Grebb sounds like a combination of several different artists. But with unique songwriting and an ability to take similar riffs and sounds without getting sued, he manages to make his solo debut album, Resolution, a power-pop gem. The beginning of “Who Are You?” is a carbon copy of Athenaeum’s “What I Didn’t Know.” However, Grebb takes the tale of knowing someone, but “not know(ing) who you are” and seemlessly flows the verses into an unnaturally infectious chorus. Grebb does this throughout the album. He takes a song that sounds similar to another and tweaks it to fit his mold. Some call it plagiarism. I don’t think he’s plagiarizing anything. He’s just darn ingenious.
“She’s a Crown” begins like a simplistic version of “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots. But where STP sang about dogs, Grebb describes how incredibly stupid men who try to buy eye candy just to impress others are. “Radio Pop” begins like a well-known Fountains of Wayne tune, “All Kinds of Time.” Grebb even sounds ironically like Fountains of Wayne singer Chris Collingwood. Ironic, because “Radio Pop” is about selling out for radio airplay, something that Fountains of Wayne did not do. Airplay, yes. Selling out, no. “Pollyanna” kicks off in the same vein as “Spitting Games” by Snow Patrol, except Grebb makes his song more forgettable. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have the dizzying video to go along with it yet.
Grebb’s songwriting is really what makes Resolution worthwhile. The music is well worth it also, but, as evidenced here, it can be heard about anywhere. Lyrics like “In medieval times 30 is a long time to live” and “Let’s leave the earth to spin on its own/So we can start a new revolution” are what will keep listeners coming back. With every listen, there is a new line that sticks or a new chorus that can’t be shaken. Mike Grebb undoubtedly has an incredible knack for making the obvious and rote sound fresh and intriguing.
Mike Grebb: www.mikegrebb.com