New Middle Class / Reviews & Quotes
Five stars (highest rating): "Expertly-crafted pop and exquisite harmonies are the cornerstone of New Middle Class' new self-titled CD...Barbara and Mike Borok show off their unique, often tongue-in-cheek talents...a thoroughly enjoyable release from start to finish."
- Lisa Fairbanks, Rhythm and News Magazine (full text)
self-titled debut CD captures all the personality, energy and creativity that makes their
live performances so enjoyable. And NMC have obviously given as much meticulous care
to this project as they do their songwriting and live performances, from the choice of
songs to the quality of performance to the striking photos inside the booklet...Hooky and
tastefully produced enough to be commercial, but probably too intelligent and perhaps a
little too unique for the masses. Of course I could be wrong."
- Mark Shepard, Treestar Coffeehouse
"The quality of the writing and performance here is self evident. This classy duo clearly knows how to make a song work on all levels...The vocals here are superb...Here are some lovely personal stories, some social commentary, even some disturbing concepts...it's easy to understand why these songs win awards."
you ever notice how folk and punk have common themes? Specifically, I’m
talking about righteous indignation and (usually political) fist waving.
Well, the married team of Barbara and Mike have lots to comment about on
this nearly concept album, covering a lifetime. The punk/folk correlation
comes in songs like “Buy One, Get One Free” (“It was a shopping
spree/When I realized/That the merchandise was consuming me”) and
“Into My Life” (“You've taken your knife/And cut your way into my
life.”). But I don't want to give the wrong impression: Barbara and
Mike, though having a somewhat cynical view of life, are really good
singer/songwriters who use the formula to stretch its usual boundaries by
playing from the inside track. Barbara's vocals are sweet and inviting (as
with Mike, who mostly backs and occasionally fronts), and the songs are
smart and catchy. And, what's more, they make you think (especially my
fave cut, “Cradle”).
"Thoughtful and intelligent lyrics in a base of well thought-out, hook-laden
instrumentation...together, the Boroks write and make great music."
"Barbara's vocals are passionate - heartfelt without becoming overly dramatic
or sweet. And, in my opinion, Mike Borok is one of the finest songwriters writing anywhere
today ... a worthy addition to any collection. My advice: buy two
copies. This is going to be a collectors' item."
"Great melodic songs, full of warmth, wit and truly delightful and surprising
turns of phrase. Simple, engaging performance -- clear, pure voices enhanced by a
tasteful, flawless, ungimmicky single guitar. A standout was 'I Was Born,' which is either
an anthem for some New Age solipsism or a scathing assault on modern narcissism -- and
works equally well either way."
"Thoughtful and original...Outstanding songwriting. Adventurous, highly
creative lyrics. Great melody and production touches. I really admire this
level of artistic songwriting. Bravo!"
"Love the record - thanks for sending it up this way. ' I Was Born' just
knocked me out!!!!! It'll for sure be appearing on my playlists & be implanted
into the WMPG library!!! 'Buy One, Get One Free' - what a riot. Perfect
Holiday song!!!!!!! Incredible!"
"Your CD is one of the best I've heard this year (and maybe last year
too)...You've done a great job for your first release! I particularly appreciate the
sense of humor in many of your songs."
"We saw New Middle Class at the SouthSound Coffeehouse recently, and we were blown
away! ...Featuring the outstanding, intense vocals and electrifying performance of Barbara
Borok, and the infectious tunes of her songwriter husband Mike...fifteen years of
performing and honing their skills have brought this 'dynamic duo' to a rapidly rising
popularity among coffeehouse and festival audiences throughout the region."
"I've enjoyed the couple of cuts from New Middle Class on the errant compilation
and on the Dan & Joe and Sometimes Mo' sampler. Are there any NMC full-length
CDs? You guys have a current and positive sound that I think our listeners would take to.
We play Eddie from Ohio and Sons of the Never Wrong pretty regularly and I'd like to have
another folk band (other than bluegrass) to add to the playlist."
"Wonderful songs sung with fine voice and harmony...a spirited evening of
"Fresh and refreshing, good to listen to, and good for you too. The songs
are crisp, clear, straightforward and easy to understand, and there's a positive outlook
on life...Good listening and recommended.
"New Middle Class has a particular knack with the deeply sentimental which puts
them in the warm spot of the audience's heart; from then on they can do no wrong."
"Hey, that was great. Really good. Boy, oh boy. A hush falls over the crowd. Good
stuff...Barbara sings like an angel."