The most memorable albums allow the listener to experience a singer’s personal narratives of self-exploration. They reveal the artist’s emotions to the world and prompt people to reflect on their own lives. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight’s fourth album, There Is No Feeling Better, displays the band’s happy-go-lucky sound with simple, catchy and honest lyrics that effectively influence the mood of the listener but do so without cutting too emotionally deep.
The Bloomington, Indiana, singer and his band made sure to take their time with this sentimental album. They worked for two years to record 11 songs of soothing, uplifting, thoughtful and carefree melodies. The songs are appropriate for a range of moods and locations, whether you listen to them on a road trip, in your bedroom or with your headphones blaring.
One of the album’s most personal songs is “Wonderful To Love.” The song contains soft humming, light drumming and a slow pace that paints a picture of cruising through Hawaii while pondering one’s potential for love. It took a long time to perfect and may remain one of the closest songs to Adams’ heart.
Adams also found himself motivated to explore his political standings (without diving too deep) in the song “Pressing Mesh.” In an interview with ZO Magazine, he explained that he wanted to maintain his poetic lyricism while covering the topics of “media, climate, racism, sexism, parenting” and more. While it’s not the most lyrically strong on the album, the melody is catchy and he doesn’t overcomplicate the politics. The message is communicated with the same set of lyrics, repeating that people can’t distinguish between the innocent and the guilty.
Adams’ storytelling can be heard in the love song “Olivia.” His sound could fit just as well in a theatrical musical as it does recorded in a studio. He resentfully recalls having his emotions played with in his sarcastic descriptions of Olivia trying to get his attention.
The innocent and romantic side of Adams is evidenced in the lyrics “I need you for a lifetime” in “I Need You.” The smooth midrange vocals, echoing xylophones and ambient sounds of a couple talking about whether it’s “right” for them to be together combine for a warm and comforting piece. The song paints an image of an idealistic, hopeless romantic who dreams of eloping with the love of his life aimlessly into the stars.
One of the album’s strongest songs is “Do You One Better,” in which Adams asks, “How do you contend it will all work out (when) we’ve all got doubt?” His sunny voice, along with the light and upbeat chorus, creates a mood of optimism that they can “waltz right out” of heaven if they want to. In one of his slower songs, “That’s One Way,” he illustrates his struggle of wanting to relax in life but still needing to get paid.
There Is No Feeling Better had a more collaborative development process between Adams and his band than any of their previous work. Adams’ contributions can be heard through the guitar, keys, bass and vocals, but the album also allows other band members to shine. The band rearranged the lineup with the guitar player on drums, the bass player on guitar and Adams on bass to keep things exciting and fresh. This certainly keeps the album compelling, with entrancing instrumentals, orchestral experimentation and tunes that stay true to the name of the band’s record company, Joyful Noise Records.
Adams’ honesty and passion to tell musical stories drives his idealistic, uplifting music, carrying the listener away through the summer clouds. Too many musicians remain buried by mainstream trends with their power to overwhelm. As a result, beautifully crafted songs may remain hidden gems. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight’s There Is No Feeling Better is one of those albums that deserve to reach a larger crowd. It is the perfect feel-good album to add to your summer playlist, and Adams is an artist whom listeners can connect with personally as they follow along with each of his simple yet fun narratives.
Contact Alison Church at [email protected].