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  • Michael Schenker, a fluent guitarist who is becoming more notable for his excessive drinking than actual talent, shines brightly on “MSG,” the second “solo” album from Michael and company. The company this time is a little tighter than future M.S.G. alumni, thanks in large part by drummer Cozy Powell, who has a worthy enough bloodline in rock history to actually challenge the ego/whiskey bravado of Michael. Gary Barden makes a second round as lead vocalist and again contributes nothing to loft his boss’ success thanks to some second stage songwriting and predictable vocal workouts. In any event, it’s clear that Schenker runs the show and “MSG” proves to be a great showcase for his guitar playing. Indeed, the first four songs of “MSG” are prime examples of Michael’s talents on the fret board while also frustrating the listener who may wonder why more people haven’t heard of this guy’s abilities. There are several answers to that question, but for a three album run “The Michael Schenker Group,” “MSG,” and the follow-up/line-up change effort “Assault Attack” Michael had a great creative burst and flexed big guitar muscle that is deserving of your attention. While by no means a perfect five star release, it packs enough punch to be mentioned in the same breath as “Blackout,” “Diary Of A Madman,” or “Diver Down.” And out of those three albums, I would put “MSG” in front of Eddie’s by the numbers playing on “Diver Down.” Highly recommended.

    Posted on December 16, 2009