Monday, February 28, 2011

Paul Melancon - Camera Obscura - 2002

Paul Melancon has managed to pull off something rather extraordinary with the aptly titled Camera Obscura. Indeed, he offers listeners a series of pop music snapshots, each having a unique allusion to something that is not at all obvious to the naked ear. As enjoyable as this record is as background or driving ambience, you really need to listen closely and thoughtfully to get the full scope of Melancon's talent and really understand the twists and turns of his characters and stories. You see, the running theme of this particular work is a fictitious California amusement park and the star-crossed lovers therein. Again, you really need to pay attention here, lest the indelible melodies fool you into thinking there's a happy ending awaiting your arrival. And how "Jeff Lynne" fits into the scheme of things is yours for the figuring. As far as the songwriting goes, Michael Penn and Neil Finn are the closest approximations, just to give you a ballpark reference, though sonically Melancon has something slightly different going on. It's impossible to set the parameters of his sound and work, but it will remind you of something somewhere that was pleasant. Atlanta has had the privilege of enjoying Melancon's previous work. Thank goodness Amy Ray and her Daemon Records saw fit to share this one with everyone else. -AMG



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