Tuesday, April 7, 2015

JACE PAWLAK: "Perspective"

Rating: RRr
Label: HeadFirstEntertainment 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"Like most writers, I just want to be heard". The humble approach as well as the 'mom & dad' friendly sound, that's "Perspective" for ya'. Jace Pawlak's latest album is a more stripped down and deeper record than his other efforts. Reaches for a wider audience with it's mix of Melodic Rock, acoustic ditto, ballads, and power pop, it's got that REO Speedwagon meets Billy Joel sound going on at full volume with just a dash of modern pop and singer/songwriter stuff.

The rather sterile and clean album with plenty of piano and lyric that speaks of ordinary things in the ordinary life of the ordinary American. If there is such a thing? The wrong turn on the highway could easily turn into the song about embracing the new atmosphere and having the look around while being lost ("While We're Here"). Other tracks such as "Judi's Just Running" takes a lot of inspiration from Billy Joel - his storytelling and ebony/ivory work.

Opening number "Cry", the pure and fun Melodic Rock track. Sadly the 'cryyyy' bit (towards the end of the refrain) had me thinking about an Tosh.O episode (feat. the web redemption of some wannabee musician). "We Don't Know Anything" is the ancient old gospel and blues tune of the U.S. past. Next track, "Renegade Heart", completely different from previous song and dance numbers. The pure AOR rocker with a refrain that sounds like a second grade mix of Kane Roberts (Rebel Heart) and various mid-80's acts. "Little Star", you can add this to the pile of 'too syrup for its own good' - Mitch Malloy (Mirror Mirror), Rick Price (Fragile), etc. The jazzy "Don't Talk To Me" is Jace only co-write on the album (he's written several songs for FarCry and Tango Down) and the tune is according to the artist, a complete Toto worship song. It sounds more like one third each from The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and yes, Toto. Nonetheless. It's the jazzy West Coast tune (Yacht Rock).

Final verdict: Not bad. Just a little bit too safe.

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