Although it’s the least striking entry in his independent catalogue thus far, MCIII is far from a disappointment. In one regard it could be considered Mikal Cronin’s Return of the Jedi. It doesn’t establish him like his first effort, and it doesn’t propel him skyward bound like his second, but despite not hitting these benchmarks, it’s equipped with a number of gems and continues to display Cronin’s musical ability.
Like the previous two LPs in his collection, Cronin composed a great deal of MCIII himself, placing his own hand upon the majority of its instrumentation. This means the album is cut from the same melodic garage rock material we’ve come to know. Although by no means does he dive into any experimentation, he does flirt with some different ideas and subtle touches. There are piano parts scattered throughout the record, and there’s significantly more acoustic guitar and string work weaved in. This not only breaks up the proceedings nicely, but also helps to draw out a genuine, emotional feel at times. The tracks “I’ve Been Loved” and “Alone” are shining examples of this in action, displaying Cronin’s ability to shape something simple into something broody and heartfelt. He’s also still got a knack for crafting swift upbeat and amplified numbers, as single “Made My Mind Up” and album cut/personal favourite “Say” loudly testify.
It may be not revolutionary and it may not be taking Mikal’s sound much further than it’s already come, but MCIII is nothing short of solidly built and seriously enjoyable. Whether you’re already accustomed to the man’s capabilities or you’re tuning into his third feature length with no prior knowledge, you’ll most likely find yourself firmly rewarded.