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Paul Brill
New Pagan Love Song
Scarlet Shame Records

Sometimes an album comes along that completely redefines my outlook on the rock and roll world. Paul Brill has created this year's winner for that distinctive honor. New Pagan Love Song approaches music with a strangely neurotic and genius-class brilliance. The songs run the gamut from soft and psychotic to loud and full of carefully crafted insanity. But, the thing that sets this album apart from some late teen angst record is the sheer magnitude of beauty and careful crafting of each and every song.

The album begins with possibly one of the most beautiful songs of the year, "Trindade", with its ephemeral and haunting electronics underscoring delicately delivered cleverly mad lyrics. " I hit my head, and I lost my memory/ I broke my hand, on the side of your face/ And I don't need memories, memories are lies/ And I can't remember most things besides falling down/ And waiting in line…" Then Brill kicks in his Clash influenced rock with "Weekday Bender", a song that carries itself along a nicely lilting and somewhat drunken pop groove. It's very pleasant to listen to, until the deranged lyrical content begins to grab you by the neck and slowly squeeze. "Lay down Your Weary Head" jerks its way along with strangely hypnotic rhythm lines and haunting violin lines, reminiscent of John Cale's middle works. "Indian Summer" is a fine example of Brill's more experimental tracks. It is haunting and spare in its arrangement, almost seeming not a song at all.

Truth of the matter is this folks… You'll be hard pressed to find a better record this year by an artist that you more than likely have never had the chance to hear. Self-describing his music as "electricana", Paul Brill delivers handily on all fronts. Musically, lyrically, and creatively, you have my promise that you won't be able to turn this record off… Unless of course, you are a boring, mindless drone. In which case… here's the new Britney Spears record for you.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Trindade
2. Weekday Bender
3. Everything I Believe In
4. Comeback Kid
5. Lay down your Weary Head
6. Powerlines
7. Indian Summer
8. Daylight Scars
9. Desert Song
10. New Pagan Love Song
11. The Troubled Life Of Herschel Grimes
Blood In, Blood Out

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