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.