Paul Brill

Halve the Light

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Paul Brill's debut album Halve the Light straddles the line between contemporary folk and adult alternative singer/songwriters, spiked with a hint of alt-country and neo-traditional folk. Thing is, that description makes it sound sort of studied or forced, maybe even a little precious, which this isn't at all. This is a warm, lucid album, with an intimate vibe and songs that are endearingly melodic, while being slyly lyrical -- these are nice, low-key songs delivered simply and charmingly, fitting Brill's friendly, unassuming vocals and delivery perfectly. By and large, the livelier numbers stick out the first time through -- whether it's the Neil Young-ish crawl of "Maybelline" or the rollicking "Caroline" -- but upon further plays, the slow, stately ballads work their way into the consciousness. And that's the thing about Halve the Light -- it may not be a knockout upon the first spin, but it's certainly engaging and it's subtly persuasive upon each successive listen. A real nice first effort that whets the appetite for the next record.

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