Odd Jobs is the solo project for Ian Paul. He recently released Basement Boy which is an eclectic album that seems to revolve around the existential angst and confusion that young men typically go through at some point.
The album opens up with “Who Am I? (Start)” which is spoken word poetry. Paul’s delivery oozes melancholy and I couldn’t help but picture a stereotypical goth kid with his bangs over one eye while listening to it. Suffice it to say the spoken word poetry that is littered throughout the album wasn’t the high point for me. Luckily his actual songs come off a lot better and less indulgent. Take for instance the excellent song “Worms.” The mix of childlike wonder in his vocal delivery mixed with catchy melodies and self scrutiny is a winning combination. He sings, “I guess every day's the same or they have been for a while.”
Along the way the album has some success with some slight mishaps. “:( “ has some serious potential. It reminded me of The Flaming Lips in some ways. This song would have come alive with better production.
“Brain” is another solid song but never reaches the brief heights of “Worms.” Similar in subject matter “Brain” contemplates basic philosophical questions. He sings, “I wanna be content / I wanna know / I’m real i want the world outside to show how I feel.”
The second notable highlight is “Basement Boy” and it rides a similar wave to “Worms.” The music and vocal delivery that provide some levity work much better with the nihilistic lyrics. “1998” is an experimental piece that feels a bit out of place while “Alien Pt. 3 (Loverboy)” and “Miss U” are the other notable highlights.
Paul has some talent. If he can capitalize on his strengths he has some serious potential.
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