Decisions, decisions, decisions. So much music, so little time to write about it. It’s a good job that music is available digitally because I’m so busy lately that I wouldn’t have time to buy any. I’d still be listening to something from the 90’s on repeat. Actually, I can think of a funny story where a friend of mine thought she was old because she was re-listening to some Supergrass…
Anyway… back into the present. Well, near present. The album that I’d like to write about it called “Various Small Fires” by Paris Wells. She’s a singer/songwriter from Melbourne. The reason for the ‘near present’ comment is because she released the album in 2010, but I’ve only just discovered it and, indeed, her.
So what can I tell you about the album. Well, I’m in two minds about it. One thing for certain is Paris is a fabulous singer. The title track is a corker. Paris’s strong vocals are the main feature and they’re a joy. But on the flip side, the album just doesn’t have the level of production that I think it should. There’s lots of experimentation going on and although it’s fun, I think it detracts from the album.
To explain this better the album, as you might expect from the title, is like a series of short stories. They are occasionally punctuated with a short poem read out by a man, with one of her song played in a country and western style in the background. This all works fine. But then we get a track like “Let it out Jacob”, which is just a cappella that has been recorded on a tape player and is ruined by them all breaking into a fit of laughter halfway through. I actually like this song but it seems to be on the wrong album. There’s a similar loss of focus on the following track “Jenny”. It’s an album with a theme but without a focus on style.
All that said, I do like Various Small Fires and have found myself listening to this a lot. The stories may be a bit gruesome but they’re interesting and I like Paris’s voice.
So I’m going to give this one 2 G’s (out of 4). It’s definitely worth a gamble. Some of you will like it more than others, and I’ll put Ms Wells on my ‘watch’ list and I look forward to seeing what she does next.