Paul Dempsey

Everything Is True

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In another incarnation, Paul Dempsey is the frontman for Melbourne rock band Something for Kate. By himself he's a soulful, melancholic singer/songwriter who seems to have taken a page or two from Gavin Rossdale. The album opens with a strong and gravelly vocal, making the Rossdale comparison quickly apparent. As the melodies develop, some of the same qualities of songwriting that take place in a handful of Bush songs can be heard. To be sure, there are other influences present as well -- the album-opening "Bats" has more than a touch of later Beatles composition in it, and the slightly pop-friendly "Ramona Was a Waitress" seems to have a tiny touch of the Flaming Lips embedded within. When he gets into his own element, the music can become something unexpected, as in the sweet, almost Mellencamp-ish "Bird in the Basement." It can become something original, as in "The Great Optimist" with its relentless snare hits. It can become almost tributary, as in the renditions of Elvis Costello and Sonic Youth hidden away at the end. An outstanding set for a debut solo recording, Everything Is True provides emotion and musicality in just the right proportions.

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