REVIEW: Paul MacLeod – Close and Play (2006)

PAUL MacLEOD – Close and Play (2006 Busted Flat)

This CD was given to me by Uncle Meat for the purpose of reviewing.  Unfortunately I was too slow and Paul didn’t live to read it.  For that I’m sorry.

With Hawksley Workman in the production chair, one expects great sonics and perhaps just a touch of “weird”.  The opening track “Ghosts” has a familiar piano-based “bop” that is reminiscent of Workman.  This delightful little track is upbeat with just a slight sense of melancholy.  Moving on to “Cruelty”, the song has a strange aura that sounds as if you’re playing it on vinyl.  This electric song really showcases how versatile MacLeod’s voice was.  “Cruelty” does not easily escape from the memory.

Sadness and loneliness are two prevailing feelings on “Schopenhauer’s”, a beautiful acoustic tune.  “Gloat” adds a base of electric guitar for a rock solid foundation.  On top of this, Paul sings his soul out.  “All I could ever do was, was be but a crutch to you.”  The mood flows into the next tune “Pools of Blue” which speaks of regret.  This changes to anger on “Broken Wing”.  “She’s feeding the bullshit, a mouthful at a time.”  A tense little guitar lick goes on until the brilliant chorus releases it.  “Broken Wing” is an easy contender for best track on the album.

After the emotional peak of “Broken Wing”, it’s nice to go back to mellow on “Listen Mary”.  Its love acoustic guitar solo is a definite highlight.  “Giants”, another upbeat catchy number, would also be a peak point.

Closing the CD is “Stanley Steamer”, initially a shock as it begins with uncharacteristic electronic sound effects.  This soon turns into a humourous look back to an era long gone.  Paul’s song sounds as if it could have been born in that past decade.  One thing Paul had a talent for was tapping into the musical feelings of the past, like a human time machine.

Check out this fantastic CD by Paul MacLeod the Musical Tardis.

4/5 stars

 

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13 comments

    1. Thanks Deke, I think he would have. I know Meat really misses him right now, because it’s nearly a year since he’s been gone. And it was just his birthday last week. And just last week, Chris Cornell died in a very similar way. So yeah…I hope this review made Meat smile too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah I have seen on Facebook some of MEAT’s Posts about his friend. I couldn’t imagine what MEAT is going through…
        Reviews and Posts about him are a good way of healing and talking about the positive times…

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I am really digging the Paul Macleod albums I have found lately. His voice was so unique and marketable.
    I bet he would have been so much bigger if he was from the U.S. or Britain.
    Thanks for helping share him with the world.

    P.S. One day at a time and one foot ahead of the other is all I can say to Uncle Meat. I know he lost a great friend in Paul, but at least he still has guys like you Mike.

    Liked by 2 people

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