Salvatori Productions 2020
Chicagoan troubadour’s sophomore effort finds him seeking for eternal truths in the unquietness of our times.
It’s difficult to approach an album titled like this for one never knows what such a definitive statement may mean, whether the record’s writer would be condescending towards his listener, and if there’s a way out of songs’ cycle started with the offering’s titular piece. Still, the first line of “That’s Everything” – “Walk with me” – should dissolve any doubts in Paul Christian’s ability to empathize, his soft welcome emphasizing, without any preaching, the importance of faith in reaching inner peace and his country guitar twang suggesting that even a rocky road can have a nice groove to it. Although the multi-instrumentalist’s somewhat strident voice is not to everybody’s taste, his often optimistic numbers are easy to relate to, and when sorrows turn to a simple delight in “The Best Day Of My Life” – a warm ballad given a memorable six-string solo – one will feel right at home here.
So while disillusion seems to reign in the fuzzy and frantic, raw rockabilly of “Just A Dream” – a follow-up to Paul’s 2018 debut “American Dream” – whose refrain must be referencing “Losing My Religion” – and “Nobody’s Listening” proposes a cinematic cowboy’s sort of escapism, hope oozing out of the infectiously frightening “It Comes From Us All” and the bluegrass-tinged “Waiting For My Turn” isn’t immediately apparent, what with Paul’s ingrained Christianity. Yet whereas the Jessies and Joannas of Christian’s cuts look sad, the protagonist of the heavy, riff-flaunting “Bicycle Messenger” pretends to savor his parochial existence. Unfortunately, after the jangly “Speak Now” has harked back to the ’60s innocence, the album’s drift becomes rather regular – the solemn piano passage in “My Little One” notwithstanding – and this is the only twist that would mar it. Further on down the road, more surprises await, and PC’s next opus shall surely deliver the goods.