How to Make a Bad Situation Worse

Artist: Mishka Shubaly

Distributed By: Terra Soul Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Brooklyn singer/songwriter Mishka Shubaly has been known as a man who has a way with words.  Whether writing lyrics or essays, Shubaly has garnered attention for the stories he tells.  His songs about alcohol and despair are often sarcastic and defiant and even inspired The Village Voice to call him the voice of “suicide at Happy Hour.”  Mishka Shubaly is working on a new album called Thanks for Letting Me Crash for In Music We Trust, but in the meantime, I was sent his debut album, How to Make A Bad Situation Worse, for review.

            I remember my reaction to the very first song on this album, The Only One Drinking Tonight.  Just after the first few lines, I cocked my eyebrow and stared at the computer wondering if this was really a comedy album or whether I might have been had.  The song was pretty funny and the music was very good.  In fact, the lyrics and music reminded me of old country drinking songs.  But the singing – well, maybe it was designed specifically for that song.  So I listened some more.  There were songs about relationships and trying times and most of them had some mention of an alcoholic substance.  Most of the songs don’t end in happiness, but I expected that from the title.

            The music was great and the lyrics were interesting, but I know you’re looking at the screen waiting for the “but”.  Here it comes.  Who told this man he could sing?!  He sounds a bit like Joe Cocker…but just a bit.  For the most part, Mishka Shubaly’s warblings were gruff and off-key.  His back-up singers sang much better.  I really tried to enjoy this album as something new, interesting and off-color, but it just came back to the lead singer and his voice.  It soured me against How to Make a Bad Situation Worse.        

             In my opinion, if Mishka Shubaly wants to gain notoriety in the music world, he should stick to what he does best – writing.  His essays have gained great recognition and his lyrics are unusual, often funny, but intelligently written.  It is my opinion that they would get more attention if sung by someone else.

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