Marcelo Paganini 2018


B4ever Now

Brief return to base with a new voice on board the mothership manned by ocean-straddling guitarist.

For all his burning ambition, "2012 Space Traffic Jam" with which this French-Brazilian artist burst onto international scene didn’t seem too impressive despite the presence of Gary Husband on drums and Eumir Deodato on keyboards – perhaps, because the record lacked vocal presence. In attempt to rectify the imbalance, Marcelo Paganini decided to turn a few pieces from his debut into proper songs and invited Durga McBroom to deliver the remixed tracks, the result being an EP, rather than a full-blown album, a distillation of his melodic intent.

Sonically, it’s strange, with instrumental background quite raw and detached from vocals on “Crying With A Smile” where Mcroom’s cosmic wail slightly enlivens the cut’s romantic wobble, especially when a cappella harmonies kick in, while the reprise of “Traffic Jam” allows the axeman live out his prog-stricken bluesy fantasy. But if even the fresh soulful angle can’t take “Last Bart To San Bruno” out of frequencies-squeezing rut, the enhanced emotionality of the title track may point Paganini toward the way out of this cul-de-sac he’s hitting with no producer in sight. Otherwise, it’s all going to be static – forever.


July 28, 2018

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