For a pop rock band, Miggs has got some strange tricks up their sleeves. For starters, 15th And Hope was produced by an award-winning big shot. Phil Ramone has worked with Sting, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Billy Joel and more. How this band snagged him, we’ll never know.
With that being said, I expected more from these guys. Instead of being blown away, I was slightly disappointed. The opener, “Pretty” is catchy, but that’s about all that can be said. The next song, “Stars” is fairly decent, but not memorable. Then there’s the third track, and this is where it gets strange. The beginning has this random church organ and gospel-like singing, but then it bursts into a normal rock jam. Confused yet? Me too. It ends with the same gospel chanting and clapping, with no clear connection to the song’s meaning.
“Hole” is the only decent song on the album. Don Miggs’ vocals are showcased quite well, and the lyrics are more relatable. The verses in “Everyone But Me” rhyme at the end of each sentence, which is slightly annoying. It feels amateur at best. “On Your Own Side” is the strategically placed slow song on a rock album. The rhyming lyrics wouldn’t be such an issue if they weren’t noticeable and predictable. I found myself finishing lines during my first listen.
The closer, “The Way It Is,” is foreseeable. It’s not slow enough to be a slow jam, but it’s not upbeat enough to be a pop rock song. While the lyrics are deep and seemingly personal, it’s just not powerful enough to end the album. The only upside is the ‘50s doo-wop at the end, where Miggs sings about the corner of 15th and Hope. I’d say it was a good effort, but the record falls short of being memorable. Maybe a big producer doesn’t always mean success.
In A Word: Ordinary