I should really be getting ready for bed but I feel like I have just enough energy to do one more review. I’ve been thinking about Neutral on Paul a lot since I heard a single from him the other day and I’ve been anxious to dig into his ‘Paper Brats’ album from last year so let’s not waste any time!
This album starts with “Out of the Way”. As soon as I hit play, I was greeted with the care-free vibe that I got from the one song I heard from Neutral on Paul and a smile took over my face. Although this opening track is super carefree- there’s no lack of emotion or feeling in this opening song. It’s a sweet track that really draws you into this quick ten-song album in the best way possible. This whole emotional care-free vibe continues into “Over the Top” which was an instant favorite of mine. From the vocals to the laidback beat, everything about this track was just what I wanted to hear tonight.
Although still laid back, “David Berman” amps the energy up just a hair to create a song that forces you to dance. The beat is infectious, slow and steady, but still energetic. Neutral on Paul’s distinct vocals take over throughout this track. There’s almost a vintage feeling to this track. The guitars have this almost psychedelic feeling and the vocals have a little retro flair to them making this song feel a little dated but not old or overdone. Although the danciness persists into “All the Lonely Hearts”, it takes a more slow-dance approach. Honestly, the draggin beat mixed with the retro flair made me picutre an old chool school dance where everyone is hesitant to dance with the other sex, and then when they do, it’s super awkward. Don’t get me wrong, this is a super cute song and far from awkward but this is just the image that popped in my head as I listened through this two-and-a-half-minute track.
“Plain Hearted Boys” was another instant favorite of mine. I loved the words in this track and the steady guitar strumming that almost overpowers the vocals at times. The chorus of this track is absolutely beautiful and almost whimsical in a strange way. I was busy trying to sing along as the song changed over to “Pills” which kicks off with an addicting guitar diddy. That diddy can be heard throughout this track but it’s the vocals that really stood out to me. They seem to take a bit more of an edge to them in this track that I wasn’t quite expecting. Although they have just a little more power, they are estill clearly that of Neutral on Paul which I adore.
I feel like I can’t praise each song on this album enough. “Evil” is another stellar track that has an almost folksy influence in it that will bring a smile to your face. Even with this folksy attitude, there’s no denying that this is a track from Neutral on Paul. I feel like “Everything you Need” is a great mix of that folksy feeling of “Evil” and the more retro vibe felt on “David Berman”. It’s a fun track that could have lasted a few more minutes without becoming boring but this album moves fast and before I knew it, I was on the final two tracks of this ten-song album.
“Arrows” starts off with an echoed guitar part that absolutely captivated me. It almost has a southern vibe to it that I hadn’t heard previously but instantly fell head over heels for. Maybe it’s that guitar tone or the slide-guitar-sounding parts between phrases, regardless, this track was warm and inviting and I wish I had gotten this one as one of the first tracks on the album.
“Fonts” ends this album on a gorgeous note. It’s another sweet and soft track that really showcases the unique style that Neutral on Paul has honed in on. From the vocals to the instrumentation to the emotion- everything about this track makes it both the perfect ending and the perfect lead into another listen of this album. Although it’s inching closer and closer to my bedtime, I couldn’t help but go back to “out of the Way” and start this album all over again.
My Favorite Track(s): “Over The Top”; “Plain Hearted Boys”
For Fans Of: Retro Feeling Music; Brilliant Songwriting; Addicting Beats
Dance-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 6 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 6.2 out of 10
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