MIKE REINSTEIN – Acts Of Love (Irregular Records IRR110)

Acts Of LoveMike Reinstein is a singer-songwriter-guitarist from Sussex and his songs are usually literate, thoughtful and, indeed, thought-provoking. I’m pleased to say that Acts Of Love is no exception. The album title itself is cleverly open to interpretation but the opening track leaves us in no doubt as to Mike’s message.

‘24/7 Care’ is a big production number featuring Robert Heasman’s trumpet and Tim Wade’s trombone over producer Ali Gavan’s bass and Lee Humber’s drums. Its subject is the family members who take over the caring duties that the government should provide and it reminds me a bit of the early Kinks. The style changes to acoustic guitar for ‘It’s Come To This’ which, I’ve decided, switches the viewpoint to a carer isolated by his duty to his wife. It’s desperately poignant and makes a perfect contrast with the optimism of ‘24/7 Care’.

Fortunately for our emotional balance, things become less fraught with ‘A Lot Like You’ and the jazzy, smoochy ‘Act Of Love’ featuring Reina James-Reinstein’s piano and electric guitar from Mick O’Connor. Now, of course, I’m looking for the twist in the tail and ‘Everything’s Going My Way’ sounds like a silly, inconsequential song until you reach the end and…no, I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Other songs range from an imagined meeting between Billie Holliday and Peggy Lee to life in modern Aleppo and a memory of Samuel Beckett and Mike returns to the main theme with ‘It’s A Given’ decorated by Ray Knight’s harmonica followed by the nostalgic ‘Seaford Song’. ‘Show Me My Mark And Tell Me What To Say’ is a romantic piece with a country edge and the whole band back together again.

Acts Of Love is another fine album from Mike – a heady mix of subjects and styles and all done with love.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: www.mikereinstein.co.uk

‘The Gardener Of Aleppo’:

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