Pajo

1968

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Cut from the same cloth as his self-titled 2005 release, David Pajo's 2006 album, 1968, floats in-between the same pastoral, electronic-tinged intimacy and restrained, pop/rock bounce that he explored on his first full-length debut. Pajo is an artist who requires more than a cursory scan of the disc to really get a grasp on what he's up to. One song into 1968 ("Who's That Knocking") -- it's a dark and static-y D.I.Y. affair. Three songs in ("Foolish King" and "We Get Along, Mostly") it feels like a smart, bouncy, driving pop/rock record, which just happens to have a dark opening track. If you eschewed the track order, and just dove in on track six ("Wrong Turn"), the impression would be that of a hybrid electronica project -- all percolating blips and bleeps over an intimate bed of organics. Leave it playing, and the following tune, "Cyclone Eye," has you reaching for the jewel case to make sure it's not some alternate version of Led Zeppelin's "Rain Song" -- the acoustic intro mapping a similarly Gallic melancholy -- but ultimately achieving a greater intimacy, thanks to Pajo's gentle but uber-present whisper. Track eight shifts gears yet again, this time finding Pajo returning to the Simon & Garfunkel template that he utilized so well on past efforts (like "Manson Twins," from his first full-length) -- taking "Walk Through the Dark" to an emotional, if not dramatic, crescendo. If all this seems like a recipe for album-wide schizophrenia, it's not. Somehow, Pajo keeps it all glued together. It's probably that subdued-yet-in-your-face vocal delivery, or the rustic-high-tech of his recording style but, whatever the case, David Pajo manages to impart a great sense of cohesiveness throughout this impressively diverse album.

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