A singer-songwriter with a clear and healthy respect for the all time greats, Michael Armstrong is an artist who has an obvious love for music. Coming to the industry later than most having already left behind another career due to the economic downturn, Armstrong stands out among the young, hopeful songwriters of today – he is a man of experience, and it often shows in his writing.

Mostly built around a strumming acoustic guitar and an unusual, warm vocal style, his songs have many facets to them. Pleasant enough when verses are trundling by, full of strong lyrics and nice melodies, the album really comes into its own with the subtle details. An unusual chord progression here, some rhythmic surprises there. It’s all in the way these songs are arranged, aware that an over reliance on common tropes could become samey. Thanks to the clever touches, this album stands above most acoustic pop efforts.

Take for example the smart ascending chord progression that closes the verse in ‘Innocence of Men’, or the ear catching chord structure and musical stabs that feature in the chorus of ‘Living What You’re Breathing’. These little touches, peppered throughout the LP amongst the entertaining and straightforward strumming patterns and structures, make it a cut above.