ALBUM REVIEW: Michael Catton – Point Of No Return


Ace vocalist/songwriter Michael Catton’s first solo collection Point Of No Return (Mighty Music) sounds like a “Best of the Eighties” tribute album, while effectively showcasing the considerable talents of the man himself and all involved. 

There are echoes of Journey, Aerosmith, Whitesnake, and others, which fans of that genre will be very comfortable with. And while British/Danish singer Catton (in cahoots with producer/co-writer/guitarist Soren Andersen) seems to have renounced genuine originality with everything more than a tad formulaic. On the third or fourth listen, the best of the album shake off that “soundalike” vibe to become characters and achievements in their own right. 


A track called “Faith” kicks the album off and the Journey comparisons can be made early on; the overall sound, the big, sustain-y Neal Schon chords, as well as Catton’s tonal similarities to the great Steve Perry. “Livin’ Lovin’” again recalls Journey, not just in the song title (“Lovin’, Touchin’ Squeezin”, anyone?) but is a slightly grittier, bluesier affair than that particular stadium rouser. 



Several of the titles are familiar. Efficient ballad “Never Say Goodbye” isn’t the Rick Derringer one (“Don’t Ever Say Goodbye”, actually), but boasts some particularly nice guitar playing. “Lights Out” isn’t the UFO favourite and is a more frantic, straight-ahead rocker that could stoke the fires in a live setting. 


The Def Leppard-y “Armageddon Again”, with its football terrace, chant-along chorus, emphasises the modus operandi of gritty riffing, soaring melodies, and good ol’ classic rock. “Gas On The Fire” sounds like “Getcha Rocks Off”, it has to be said, but it’s also obvious by now that Catton et al must know this.


Catton checks into the raunchy Bon Jovi saloon for “Hearts In Danger”, while “Ready For the Taking” (from Joe Elliott & Co’s “Let It Go”?) combines those apparent Journey/Def influences with another Leppard-style chant-along chorus and some more Schon-type licks and riffing with guitarist Andersen again impressing. 


“Going Down” is a tight little Aerosmith-type rocker with a lot of melody and some nice guitar. The closing track “Brother” is another ballad which showcases Catton’s range, rigour, emotion, and personality, even if it ends things on something of a mournful, melancholy note. Just for the record, Catton, former frontman of Danish band Tainted Lady, has previously been compared to Ian Gillan and Bruce Dickinson.


All in all, definitely a late seventies-eighties AOR sound, and if you like that kinda stuff you might like this, too. There are ten songs in forty minutes, in and out, just like that, no time for nonsense.


Buy the album here:


7 / 10