Thursday, November 9, 2006

Reviews:: Pablo Half the Time

When an artist claims that a record was molded after Neil Young’s “Harvest” LP, I’m instantly transported to the corner of intrigue and concernicus. Obviously, several artists drop names in an effort to can some critical praise, while others are genuinely influenced by great musicians from the past. Obviously, lots of artists are influenced by Pavement, Neil Young, and the Replacements, but very few can give credit to the bands without basically stealing their sounds.

Brooklyn-based Pablo (aka Paul Schalda) treads this line nicely. Far from a poor replication of the music critics love, Paul pays homage to music from another time – complete with a sincere, piano heavy version of the Zombies This Will Be Our Year - while maintaining his own voice and style.

Unlike many singer/songwriter’s out there today, Paul doesn’t waste time indulging his own ego. Most tracks top out around the two-minute mark and the hasty nature of the output strengthens the effort. The combination of a simple guitar riff and hand claps on Focus is a perfect example. Instead of drawing the song out with a useless solo or bridges and breakdowns, you get a quick hitting, enjoyable track that is finished before you even realize how much you enjoyed it.

As is often the case, the imperfections of a song make it something special. The gentle strums and finger board squeaks of Loser Crew are paired with Paul’s shaking vocals and William’s (his brother) piano lines. The guitars and energy of the vocals build and swirl and quickly stop, like the changing moods we all go through every day. Somehow it manages to be hectic and calm at the same time.

Sure there are times where his style is too familiar, like the vocal similarities to Mr. Vedder on Calm Down, but I don’t think Paul cares. I think he wears his influences on his sleeve and would be happy to receive any favorable comparison (of course I might be wrong). This is a release sure to be judged (favorably or not) and made out to be something it’s not trying to be. He’s an artist playing music he loves with his friends and family (complete with his dad playing lovely harmonica intros and outros to the record). I think that deserves a fair listen. Whether or not the people agree remains to be seen.

MP3:: Wall St.
MP3:: Get Around

Posted at 12:37 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 2:29 PM, Anonymous wilford brimley did sayeth:

that get around song is great, nice find.


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