Sam Paul is back with a new release entitled Looks Like a Heart #1. This release is unique in that is based on a location Denver, Colorado. That being said Paul isn’t the first to do this. I think it’s fair to say Sufjan Steven releases Illinoise and Michigan were albums that made a substantial effect on the indie music community. In my opinion the reason both those releases had success was not because of the historical references. The most powerful moments on both those albums was when Stevens was able to find the melancholy and apprehension of the unemployed worker in Flint or the devastating horror of being affected by the Gacy murders. It comes down to the individual in a lot of cases and that was also something that Paul demonstrates on Looks Like a Heart #1. These are stories about people’s experiences that all happen to come from the same location.
The first song “High School” is a song I think a lot of people can relate to. I’m thirty-eight and have these types of feelings once in a while that Paul sings about. The songs revolve around not feeling like the world is completely open like it used to be when you are young, slowly losing your looks and getting caught in a negative thought pattern where you are dwelling on the nostalgia of the past. The music itself is a mixture of organic and electronic elements. It’s very catchy and slightly melancholic but also playful in way. Majical Cloudz sometimes has a vibe that is similar to this.
The next song “Going Bald” is well yeah about going bald. I hate to say this but unfortunately going bald is genetic and has nothing to do with location. There are bald men everywhere. The song is catchy but also quite comical in a lot of ways.
“Introvert’s Dilemma” is really upbeat and fun. This song has the kind of groove that creates some energy in the air. The lyrics are great as well. Paul’s commentary about the person shouting his points made me happy. He patiently and cleverly dismantles the need for yelling with thoughtful zen like logic.
“Hey, Girl, Hey” could potentially be the highlight. The vocal hooks in particular were memorable He closes with “Dead Grandpa.” The title bummed me out before listening to it. It’s a short song that revolves around strings, vocals and what is clearly a dog barking. The dog barking somehow works in the song. Don’t ask me how.
I can confirm Looks Like a Heart #1 does have heart. Highly recommended.
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