Another CD Review of “Like Your Hero”

Canada has always provided a great deal of sensational musical acts, varying from all genres. Meet
Paul Kloschinsky, one of the Great North’s best kept secrets. Just releasing his latest album titled., Like Your Hero, Kloschinsky is about to take you on a musical journey that will pleasantly surprise you. Hailing from Delta, British Columbia, Kloschinsky blends folk infused rock that channels legends such as Neil Young and Bob Dylan.

Opening with the intriguing track, “Ignition,” the piece is filled with beautifully strummed and bright acoustics, with Kloschinsky’s voice very much in the forefront. His vocals are very unique, yet they fit the music perfectly, captivating every note. “Like Your Hero,” is a gorgeous track right from the start, with subtle, yet noticeable violin throughout, making this a standout piece on the record.

“Burns Like a Candle,” is a personal favorite song on the record. With Kloschinsky’s voice crooning like a true folk singer, and the galloping pace of the instruments throughout, really tend to create something special. “My Heart Still Belongs to Her,” proves to be one of the most beautiful tracks on the album, providing something a little different. Soft strings accompany Paul as he appears to sing about a lost love, or someone that he misses deeply. He really manages to capture his true emotion in this song and it will certainly tug on your heartstrings.

“Take Me to the Doctor” is a charming tune that may remind one of a classic song by The Replacements, as Kloschinsky’s voice has a bit of Paul Westerberg flare to it through the course of the song. “And Be Near You,” is the best example of folk-meet-rock on Like Your Hero, alongside “Bad Times,” a rather interesting track that has a hint of surf rock blended with folk, and a harmonica sound that fits like a glove. Kloschinsky’s lyrics are very introspective with varying undertones. Though the tale may be of “Bad Times,” he surely seems like he is having a good time playing it.

“Fields of Dream,” is a catchy song, with subtle guitars, pleasing and slick riffs, and Kloschinsky laying a smooth vocal track over, as his lyrics naturally echo. “Do you remember long ago, before the ice, and the wind, and the snow?” sings Kloschinsky with spirit. Every track on this record seems to tell a story, as if reading chapters of a novel, which helps one dig into the ultimate listening experience. Whether this is intentional or not, Paul has a superb knack for songwriting. “Lovin Don’t Come Easy,” is a sultry track that shows the true depths of emotion, as Paul seems to be genuinely heartbroken as he guides you through this tale. That’s okay though, as things seem to pick up for him with the closing track “The Bargain” at least for a little while as his bargain appears to be with the devil.

Paul Kloschinsky’s Like Your Hero, is a touching record that proves to be the blood, sweat and tears of this talented songwriter. If you are willing to take a chance on a new musical discovery, we have found just the thing. Paul Kloschinsky is a name to look out for in 2013, and beyond.

Artist: Paul Kloschinsky
Album: Like Your Hero
Reviewer: Melissa Nastasi
Rating: 4 (out of 5 Stars)

CD Review of “Like Your Hero”

For someone who did not ask for much outside help, doing everything from singing and playing instruments all the way to fully producing the album himself, Paul Kloschinsky has constructed a shockingly respectable release.  Like Your Hero is the second full album from this Vancouver native.  Kloschinsky is a musician, first and foremost.  But he is also a poet; and you can bet that plays into his lyrics.  In 2007 he won the MusicAid Award for Best Canadian Songwriter for “Wearin’ Blue,” a track on his first release.  A listen to any of his songs will tell you why he was awarded with such an honor; his songwriting and storytelling skills are such that it makes his words difficult to forget.

“Ignition” and “Like Your Hero,” the first two tracks on the album, were released as singles soon after the complete album was put out.  And it was done so with good reason; these are two of the best tracks on the entire album.  “Ignition” showcases Kloschinsky as a complete package.  It offers a catchy beat with memorable lyrics, shows off his writing skills, and even contains an electric guitar solo.  “Like Your Hero” is likewise catchy.  In that the album shares the same title it is fitting that the album artwork be based off this track.  He creates a fairytale feeling in both the artwork and the lyrics by depicting a knight slaying a beast in order to save his love.  In that these two songs are the first two heard it makes the album feel a bit frontloaded, though there are still other noteworthy tracks.

Kloschinsky’s songwriting style and vocals are similar to that of Bob Dylan’s.  The vocals are scratchy and not perfect in the least, but those imperfections work to give his music a heavier folk aspect.  The tracks are all centered around acoustic guitar, though stringed instruments offer an additional backing, giving the tracks a richer, more layered appeal.  “Fields of Green” is a great example.  There is so much going on instrumentally, but not so much that it takes on a bogged down sound; it is just enough to make the track pop.  “And Be Near You,” on the other hand, leans toward the opposite side.  It is a fast-paced song with swift instrumentation.  The acoustic guitar on top of electric guitar on top of strings on top of drums is a touch too much. More often than not the instruments unfortunately tend to blend together, making it difficult to perceive the full effect of each one.

The final track, “The Bargain,” comes as a lengthy end to the album.  The harmonica, an instrument not heard very often through the album thus far, plays a major role within this track. The song is about a deal that was made between the devil and himself.  The track ends with no conclusion, though.  Instead, he is still waiting for the devil to come back for him and steal his soul.  The fact that there is such a detailed story within the lyrics makes up for the song being a full nine and a half minutes long.  In that it is so long you would assume there would be some sort of instrumental intermission, but there are only verses and choruses to be found here.

There are points within the album where the rhythm of the vocals do not quite match up with the beat of the song, which serves as a fairly distracting aspect.  Everything else, on the other hand, is enjoyable.  There is true talent in Kloschinsky’s work.  Like Your Hero is worth a listen for the lyrics and melodies alone.

Artist: Paul Kloschinsky
Album: Like Your Hero
Review by Alec Cunningham
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)