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
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.
- The Ballad Of Padre Miguel
- Three Murders
- Blue River
- Ghost Story
- Rosa Marie
- La Zapatista
- The Pale Rider
- Down By The Winedale
- Sun Go Down
- The Water Is Washing Over Me
- Lonely Times
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