Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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Who needs vocals?
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like two other great Austin "indie bands" (Spoon and American Analog Set), PN's magic lies in their ability to make every subtle note meaningful. Vocals are sparse on this album, and that's no detriment since the timing between the metronomic bass/drums and the gorgeously melodic guitar is what really carries the day. Sleek, sensous, and cerebral."
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Mike Newmark | Tarzana, CA United States | 07/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine a mellower Rodan, a moodier Roadside Monument, a quirkier Codeine, a bloodier A Minor Forest, and a, well, better-sounding Traindodge, and you're about halfway to understanding the music of Paul Newman. Yes, this is a band that's been heavily influenced by its post/math rock precedents, but Paul Newman takes this inspiration one step further and uses this influence as a base to build their own unique math-rock sound.There isn't a simple, straightforward song to be found on this CD. "Seizure's Fashion" is a hard-edged but oddly restrained track, with spare guitars against a pounding beat. There are glimmers of alt-rock, and some churning alt-metal power chords around the 4-minute mark. "pollo Creed" and "Where Are Your Hands Now" are both mellow songs with repeated themes. "Apollo Creed" contains repeated chords that sound as though they're building up to a powerful conclusion, and "Where Are Your Hands Now" repeats a dynamic guitar hook of which Slint would be very proud. Midway through both songs, the guitars elegantly slide into some really pretty stuff, which sounds like Paul Newman?s take on pop-rock, before returning to their respective themes.The first half of "Dawson 4, Oklahoma 0" is more pleasant than an autumn breeze, with a lilting guitar hook that will make you melt. True to the post-rock fashion, they throw in a little "wah-wah" which is slightly reflective of the nouveau indie of The Sea and Cake. Unfortunately, the second half doesn't hold itself up quite as well; it's a meandering melody in a tepid key. "Curse You Would" is an aggressive but controlled grunge piece. What makes it stand out is its complexity: angular melodies, frequent stop-starts and rhythmic changes. "Arriving Early" is easily the most replaceable track on the album. It isn't bad by any means, but it toes the middle-of-the-road too often and doesn?t offer anything unique to the disc. "The New Goth" is an unexpected twist -- it's blistering and brutal, and a distant cousin to A Minor Forest's "Dainty Jack and His Amazing Technicolor Cloth Jacket." The song contains all of the Paul Newman dynamism we've come to expect, and it proves that they can truly rock if and when they want to."Only Love..." is all but entirely without vocals, appearing ever-so-briefly in two songs and once on "The New Goth" in the form of a scream. Less Is More, at least where Paul Newman's vocals are concerned, which gives them a heightened effect when they actually do appear. More importantly, the music stands on its own very nicely, and bludgeoning it with vocals would not have been a welcome addition (and serves as a testament to the brilliance and complexity of the music itself).Melancholy, cerebral, and quite beautiful, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" continues the inventiveness of Slint and Rodan, and melds it with their own emotions, dynamics, and moods. It's definitely worth a listen or three for those who enjoy intricate independent rock (or those who don a smile upon hearing Slint's incredible influence on yet another band). Aside from a few missteps, it's a thoroughly enjoyable album that deserves as much praise for its amalgamation of musically historical influences as it does for its originality."