Paul Lockwood

Positive

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Sounding like a cross between Noel (good) and Paul Lekakis (not so good), writer/actor/singer Paul Lockwood wrote or co-wrote nine of the 11 tracks on his debut album, and it shows in how personal the lyrics and the vocals are. Inspired by the loss of several of his friends to AIDS, he is angry ("Call Me Mad"), hopeful ("Positive"), and out ("Bring It Up, Bring It Out"), and each track has a good hook and quite interesting production. Though much of this material came from loss, it isn't all political, and what is political isn't a turn-off. Lockwood tackles his pain and his rage, and the result is cathartic, keeping it from being tedious or preachy. His vocals are uneven throughout the album, which makes the production seem cheap, but he comments in his liner notes that the sharps and flats in his singing were left in, because life is imperfect, and "the real beauty and joy comes from living and loving despite" those imperfections. Obviously a labor of love, this album is strong overall, and proceeds will go to various AIDS charities.

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