Back in the ’70s Paul Golian was in a prog rock band called Theatre of Life. After more than a thirty-year absence he decided to make music again. His recent release Who We Are is essentially a pop record. Soft melodies full of warmth fill the album. The production could use a couple of tweaks but the songwriting often shines through. He uses a good amount of reverb which gives the songs a spacious, open atmosphere.
He opens with “Hand n Hand” which reminded me of some of the 1960’s songs calling for peace in response to the Vietnam war. The song is pretty upbeat and cheery all things considered. I really enjoyed the initial vocals which were straight singing but the almost speaking part doesn't work quite as well . He sings, “I can't be the man you want without your hand in mine, I can't do the things you want without your hand in mine. Hand in Hand.”
Up next is the bright and fun “Girl.” This song certainly has an old ’60s pop feel. I wish the guitars were a little more present in the mix at times although the vocal sound is pretty refined. “Feels Like” is a unique song. I have no idea how he got some of those sounds at the very beginning of the song. This was a highlight. I thought the vocals were catchy and the melodies were pretty memorable.
Another highlight is the song “She Says.” The guitar work is inventive and smooth, and electric piano notes twinkle in the background. As the album progresses “Still Be There” and the closer “If” were the other highlights.
Who We Are is far from perfect but it does have its moments. The majority of the songs were repeat worthy and I think those who enjoy warm, upbeat pop songs from the ’60s and ‘70s will embrace what goLian has to offer.
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