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Deadman
Paramour
Lakeshore Records


The name Deadman might conjure images of a death metal band, a goth band or a rap/rock hybrid. So, imagine my surprise and delight upon listening to find that Deadman is none of the above. A flamenco-esque guitar lead greeted my ears followed by vocals and phrasing akin to that of Red House Painters. "The Ballad Of Padre Miguel" is a nice, easy Spanish stroll of sorts. Thematic from the first note to the last, "Ö Padre Miguel" mixes American and Mexican folk riffs that combine with sing song lyrics. Itís mellow, as it the rest of Paramour, and itís easy. I was taken aback for but a few moments in a pleasant shock that I wasnít about to be assaulted with poor lyrics and overloaded guitars.

Further into Paramour, other influences and comparisons become evident. This may have more to do with producer Mark Howard bringing out aspects of Deadman to fit his production style than it does with the actual songwriting. For instance, one of the first comparisons I was going to make was to U2. Who produced U2ís latest? None other than Mark Howard. "Three Murders", Paramourís second track, or "Blue River", track three, could easily fit on a U2 album, and oddly enough, a David Gray album as well. Itís obvious that Deadman arenít going to throw any curve balls on Paramour, nor should they. Rather than being disruptive and intrusive, Paramour is gentle and warm and accessible.

The song titles seemed to be based on imagery of dusty streets of the old west and horsemen living like nomads, constantly moving from town to town. With titles like "The Pale Rider", "Sun Go Down" and "Lonely Times" itís hard not expect a lone harmonica lead in to some of these songs and possibly a jug being blown into to hold the beat. While Deadman does indeed incorporate elements of such imagery in their playing, you have to listen with an attentive ear, because theyíre subtly tucked into otherwise completely modern sounding tunes. It took a few listens before I picked up on the traditional country beat on "Ghost Story" Ė and now it seems so obvious Iím almost embarrassed to admit Iíd missed it.

Before you write Deadman off as another triple-A radio friendly cookie cutter band, there are definitely songs that offer up a unique style, such as "Rosa Marie" which seems like the most unaffected song youíll get from Paramour, while still maintaining the intense, yet overly restrained feel of the rest of the album. Additionally, while the seemingly obvious influences only compound with each new song youíre introduced to, you have to respect the band who can borrow styles, apply them well and add depth to the music theyíre playing and singing.

If thereís one word than can sum up the tunes on Paramour, itís "sincere". The emoting seems genuine, both lyrically and musically. It may be easy to consider Paramour a single song broken into 11 different parts, because youíll be hard pressed to find a more consistent piece of work. I can handle an hour-long song as long as itís good and thereís no doubt that Paramour is good.

— Tyler Jacobson

Track Listing:

  1. The Ballad Of Padre Miguel
  2. Three Murders
  3. Blue River
  4. Ghost Story
  5. Rosa Marie
  6. La Zapatista
  7. The Pale Rider
  8. Down By The Winedale
  9. Sun Go Down
  10. The Water Is Washing Over Me
  11. Lonely Times

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