Mishka Shubaly-How To Make A Bad Situation Worse
Record Label: Terra Soul Music
Release Date: August 18, 2007
Alcoholism! Alcohol abuse! Alcohol related illness! Drinking alcohol alone! ALCOHOL! If you’re not excited by any of my previous statements, Mishka Shubaly isn’t excited about you. In fact, he’s going to drink some alcohol until he ends up in an ambulance because you’re a rubbish person. Then, he’ll write a song about it and make you listen to it, until you turn to alcohol, and then his dreams will be fulfilled. As you may have guessed, if drinking songs were a genre, Mishka Shubaly would be the poster boy. Infamous for, um… audio e-books, Shubaly hails from Brooklyn via a wine bottle. His debut album How To Make A Bad Situation Worse is thirteen tracks of late night, laidback folk music.
Largely, How To Make A Bad Situation Worse follows a formula set out in the opening track 'The Only One Drinking Tonight'. Uncomplicated folk guitars accompany Shubaly's deep, gruff voice while he mumbles his way through a chapter in the life of a character right out of a Bukowski novel. Songs such as 'Don't Cut Yr Hair' and the aforementioned opener manage to be somewhat catchy, however, largely the album is forgettable. Shubaly's songwriting is limited, and although he clearly attempts to have some sort of wry wit in his lyricism, it drowns in a sea of theme repetition as every single song is about being a drunkard. Technically speaking, Shubaly's voice is, whilst somewhat an acquired taste, unique, his range is quite interesting, and he also knows how to craft a catchy lick, but each song on this release, without failure, sounds the exact same. This would be less off-putting if the sound was new or innovative, but Shubaly has basically created what any man who spends too much time at bars could create, if given an acoustic guitar.
Possibly, there are people out there who may enjoy this release greatly, perhaps people with more appreciation for alcohol than this innocent reviewer, however Shubaly's take on alcoholism lack dimension, innovation or imagination in any form. Perhaps there's a reason he's infamous for audiobooks rather than folk music.