Love and War is a pop rock collaborative project that is the brain child of Mike Hill. Mike Hill is a highly talented musician with more than 15 years experience of touring, recording and showcasing. His popularity elevated while being a part of Disney’s Mad T Party Band at Disney’s California Adventure Park and playing in bands that graced the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage in Disneyland. Through these venues he gathered a dedicated fan base that follow him closely as he moves on to other ventures such as this incredible album. His dedicated and highly supportive fan base helped him raise over $40,000 for this album’s kickstarter in 2015. Truly amazing.
The album features a huge mix of talented singers, songwriters and musicians who all came together to make an eclectic style of music. Love and Warranges from songs that are hard rocking to up beat pop to incredibly deep and touching melodies. All the songs stick to the theme of relationships…some good times and some very hard times. Relationships creating a myriad of feelings such as love, frustration, anger, joy, sadness, and sometimes causing war, this album tells these stories well. It’s a subject most humans to can relate to and there truly is a song for everyone. No super sappy love song will be found here though.
The first single off the album is titled Look At Me Now and it features Ashley Morgan from Faultlines and Season 8 for the The Voice. It was written by David Kidd and John Flanagan. It’s hard hitting and edgy. It can currently be found on iTunes.
I had a very hard time picking a favorite song. Usually, when I listen to an album I only like one or two songs and the rest are filler; this album was different for me. I don’t know if it’s the eclectic style or the fact that each song features a different artistic endeavor. Each song does have a different singer that brings a different vibe to the plate. It’s almost like listening to a soundtrack… a soundtrack to a relationship.
I would like to talk about my 6 favorite songs on the album. Usually I have a hard time finding a top 3 songs on an album but with this album I had a hard time narrowing it down to 6. I loved every song on this album. It was truly refreshing but here’s my 6 favorites… which considering there’s only 14 songs on the album that’s not really narrowing it down much.
Girl Toy: Featuring Jenny Kidd on Vocals (Look up her album “Sunkissed” on iTunes) Written by Jenny Kidd and David Kidd, Johnny Gomez on Guitar (Look up his works “The White EP” and “Pink” on iTunes), Mike Lewis on Drums and Mike Hill on Bass. Jenny Kidd nails the vocals as she lends her poppy voice to this total woman power song. Its upbeat and high energy with a strong drum beat that gets you moving. With lyrics like “with a wink of the eye I got you by the balls in my court, I could whip you all around and you’ll be begging for more.” I literally get the image of a woman in black leather dragging a willing man around by a leash.
Secrets and Spies: Featuring David Kidd on vocals, Written by David Kidd, Todd McCool on guitar, Jimmy Keegan on Drums, and Mike Hill on Bass. avid lends his edgy hard rock voice to this track filled with hard rocking guitar creating a dark deep song. It reminds me of something 30 Seconds To Mars would make. Just a very dark vibe with lyrics that remind of the beginning of a relationship where you question if it should be happening. Maybe one partner is all for it while the other is scared.
Unbroken: Featuring Stephanie Wall (Part of founding cast of Disney’s “Frozen: Live at the Hyperion” as Elsa and “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion the Musical” as Michelle coming June 2017 to Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater) on vocals, Written by John Flanagan, Ryan Calhoun, and Melanie Watson, programmed by David Kidd, Synth Bass by Mike Hill. To me this is one powerful song. Stephanie lends her rock music laden smooth voice that has a poppy feel since it is synth heavy but yet a rock feel still. It reminds me of Halestorm meets Katy Perry… rocker chick meets pop band. The subject matter is deep. It seems to tell the story of a woman who found herself in a toxic relationship who has finally had enough and gets the courage to leave forever. I mean lets be honest it’s hard to leave for good. She picks herself up and walks out the door for good. With lyrics like “Take a good look at me, I’m on my way up on my way out for good.” That’s totally a “bye Felicia” moment. “When I left my heart wide open everything I had was stolen, another bruise another scar, from falling down so hard but I’ll pick myself up and keep on going.” lends itself to you rooting for this character as she walks right out that door. This song is totally a powerful message of hope to anyone who finds themselves leaving a toxic relationship. The song definitely lends itself to a remix with its heavy synth but I would love to hear a version with live instrumentation and a heavier rock feel.
Has Anybody Seen Her: featuring Seth Romano on vocals, written by John Flanagan, Dan Franklin (Check out his many other works on iTunes) and Mike Hill, David Kidd on Programing and guitar, and Nigel Dick on Bass. This is probably the catchiest and most fun song on the album. It’s reminiscent of a sort of something Maroon 5 would put out. Its upbeat, happy and angsty rolled into 3 minutes of music. It literally tells the story of waking up after a night of partying with only foggy memories and half a phone number of someone who could potentially be the love of your life. Totally reminds me of my entire time in Amsterdam. This song totally lends itself to becoming a super fun music video.
Wonderland: featuring Sheena Loza on vocals, Written by John Flanagan, Kevin Bard, and Krysta Young, programming by David Kidd. Sheena Loza lends her soothing yet hard hitting voice that melds perfectly with this synth heavy song and it creates perfection. With lyrics like “Down the hole we fall, but it’s crazy wonderful, two hearts with out a plan in this wonderland.” a picture of a sudden love affair, perhaps something forbidden, is painted in my head. “You and me, we’re stuck between realty and make believe.” I love the vivid imagery of two people coming together and it’s just pure magic and reckless abandonment. This song is currently available on iTunes.
Paper Planes: featuring Drew Tablak on vocals, written by John Flanagan and Ryan Calhoun, with Noel Melanio on piano. This song is so simple and poignant as it’s just the incredibly emotional and beautiful voice of Drew Tablak accompanied by the simplicity of a piano. You can hear the desperation of his voice as the story is told of a man pouring out his soul onto paper to his significant partner. He is making the decision not to leave but rather to stay and fight for his relationship. It’s a total dichotomy to most songs of this type where you would expect him to be writing a “dearJohn” letter. This song literally brought tears to my eyes with it’s pure emotion and hits you in the soul. Overall this album was like nothing like I’ve ever heard. It’s eclectic but all the songs fit together so very well. The album will be available on iTunes, Google Play, and all online stores November 10th, 2016. Hard copies of the album are available at MikeHillBass.com. There will be an album release party on November 10th, 2016 in San Juan Capistrano, CA at the Coach House concert venue. Tickets are available at thecoachhouse.com. It promises to be an incredible time as many of the artists who
helped create this album will be there to perform.
So many talented artists were involved with Mike Hill in the creation of this album. I honestly want to take a moment to list each one as they should all be household names: Rudy Cardinas (vocals), Todd McCool (guitar), Pat Leon (Drums), Mike Lewis (drums), Ashley Morgan (Vocals), Michael Anderson (guitar), Jeff Muzerolle (drums), Jenny Kidd (Vocals and writing), John Flanagan vocals and writing), David Kidd (vocals, writing, programing, guitar), Chris Paul Overall (vocals and writing), Johnny Gomez (vocals, writing, and guitar), Stephanie Wall (vocals), Evan Saucedo (vocals), Jimmy Keegan (drums), Jason Smith (drums), Dan Franklin (guitar, Writing), Keynon McBurney (drums), Josh Disan (vocals), Dani Kerry (vocals), Ryan Calhoun (writing), Melanie Watson (writing), Nigel Dick (bass), Sheena Loza (vocals), Jamie Carganilla (vocals), Noel Melanio (piano), Seth Romano (vocals), Drew Tablak (vocals), Kevin Bard (writing) and Krysta Young (writing).