Joseph Schedlo goes by the moniker Scheldo for his first solo album called God On Repeat. I’ll come right out and say that this is an album you will not want to miss. It brings a lot to the table and the concoction of different styles combined with great songwriting creates a worthwhile album that leaves you wondering what else does he have up his sleeve. He charms you with the spirit of Americana, while tipping his hat to 1960’s rock and experimenting with psychedelic soundscapes. It also doesn’t hurt that the production is excellent throughout the entire album.
The first song he hits you with is a feel good slice of American pie called “When The Moon is Right.” It emanates a classic feel akin too Creedence Clearwater Revival. A toasty warm organ, and a vintage-sounding guitar provide an attractive canvas for Schedlo to sing over. Schedlo has an attractive voice; I want to say it sounds a bit rustic. It’s manly in the way same way Bruce Springsteen's voice is. His voice sounds even better when it is joined with the female accompaniment on the chorus. The first song was good but I actually enjoyed the second song “Without Love” even more. His vocal line and music in general was really catchy. The juxtaposed drumbeat combined with the clean reverb laced guitar and background vocal melodies was money.
“Time” is the first significant departure from the beginning of the album. For one thing it’s slower, but Schedlo makes up for energy lost with the BPM with epic psychedelic noise. The song starts with a lone guitar, his voice and what sounds like a radio transmission coming from Jupiter before abruptly taking off to interstellar stratoshere. It rocks, and then it rocks some more in a celestial kind of way.
“Through The Night” is a very subtle, sparse song that has a lot of space for Schedlo to sing over. Subdued percussion and lush arrangements come in and out of the song as Schedlo and his female accompaniment seduce the sounds around them. The centerpiece and crown jewel of the album is “Love's Only Orphan.” It’s a 10-minute epic that starts with the eerie sound of loneliness in the form of wind. Once the music enters it sounds more melancholy than the wind itself. As it progresses it’s sad but beautiful. The slide guitar and slight distortion add to the overall ambience. Once the harmonies come in Schedlo starts to sound like Pink Floyd and my ears perked up waiting for what might unfold in the next seven minutes. To my surprise not much changes. He could have probably gone grandiose with crashing drums and louder guitars but who wouldn't have seen that coming. Instead he felt content staying in the feeling he introduces in the beginning of the song.
God On Repeat is a versatile album with many ebbs and flows. The first two songs aren't very indicative of where the rest of the album is headed and this may be the only fault I have with the album is that it could have been a bit more cohesive. That being said this album has a lot of great songs that work because of the innate energy that is felt within them. Each one of the songs has a strong emotional anchor that makes you feel connected with the music.
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