REVIEW OF CRIME OF PASSION
The latest album from Canadian singer/songwriter Paul Kloschinsky, Crime of Passion, continues burnishing his reputation as one of the finest singer/songwriter talents working in today’s indie scene. He’s a poet and recognized photographer who brings both a literary and cinematic aspect to the songwriting that’s welcome and artfully included. Kloschinsky sports a number of influences, but they are clearly filtered through his own personality; he has a traditional aura, but there’s a thoroughly modern slant to his writing that never leaves his music spinning in some sort of cultural backwater. Crime of Passion is an eight song release with a number of tracks demonstrating his willingness to stretch out both as a musician, songwriter, and vocalist. There’s excellent balance on the album, however, and a number of the songs are focused and aim at appealing to the broadest of all possible audiences.
he jangling acoustic churn of “I’m Still Waiting” doggedly embodies the same wanting Kloschinsky depicts in the lyrics. There’s a slightly ominous edge to the guitar figure, but it’s nothing that Kloschinsky pushes too hard on the audience and his facility with the instrument is obvious. There are some light string touches and stripped back drumming further fleshing things out, but the center of the song is his voice, tempered with some echo, but still every bit as hard charging as the arrangement. The title song takes a much more gradual pace and trods, perhaps, more familiar lyrical ground than the opener but it’s still a finely tuned track that makes great use of its language and strikes just the right musical note. “I Believe” has an exuberant pop bounce with some understated horns and lyrical content that, despite being constructed around a central phrase, branches off into a number of interesting directions.
The album’s second longest song “House Up on the Hill” is, arguably, Kloschinsky’s finest moment on Crime of Passion. The meandering near-country folk vibe is joined by a recurring woodwind touch bringing an added lonesome quality to the song that makes for a good match with Kloschinsky’s voice. The narrative qualities of the lyric are quite strong. “A Poignant Point in Time” seems to share many similarities with earlier songs, but there’s a surprising rock spirit discerning listeners might hear lurking just beneath the vocal. It’s also the album’s shortest track yet sounds complete and remarkably fuller than its sub three minute running time might indicate. The finale “Gates of Heaven” runs a little longer than the aforementioned “House Up on the Hill”. It begins with an ornate but evocation organ introduction before segueing into another striking Kloschinsky guitar figure. It has a steady mid tempo pace and some sharply observed lyrics that explicate as much as they obscure. It is an truly impressive and weighty curtain for Paul Kloschinsky’s finest song collection yet. It has a decidedly low key, restrained vibe – but bristles with intelligence and musicality impossible to deny. Crime of Passion will draw in anyone who appreciates sharp and thoughtful artistry.
REVIEWS OF “NOBODY KNOWS”
Indie Music Reviews
Award winning Canadian songwriter Paul Kloschinsky has established a much deserved reputation as a formidable talent, but his latest full length release Nobody Knows likely pushes him onto a much brighter stage than before. Rarely are albums so unified and, yet, so difficult to pin down stylistically. Kloschinsky maintains a strong uniformity of mood and atmosphere while displaying all the characteristics of a musical chameleon, seamlessly alternating between various strains of genre without the seams ever showing. This fleet-footed facility places his work in a rare class. Kloschinsky’s recording has a distinctly low-fi ambiance, but it enhances the intimacy of the release. The ten song collection sounds like songs written in the wee hours when bleariness skews our perceptions in attention-catching, imaginative ways.
“Fallin’ for You” provides an excellent primer on Klonschinsky’s style for any novice and an affirmation for those familiar with his earlier albums. Klonschinsky is a well-rounded songwriter, but there’s a distinctly cinematic or narrative-based quality to much of his work “Fallin’ for You” embodies through its wealth of specific detail and the undeniable voice informing its narration. There’s a strident pop rock element present in the guitar playing. Things are much more tempered on the album’s title track than the opener, but the same atmospherics pervade despite being employed to different ends. The more meditative mood means a different use of energy, not less of it. Placing the album’s title track so near its opening curtain denotes a certain confidence “Do You Remember?” has an understated mournful swing underscored by the slowly unfolding violin lines laced through the arrangement. Kloschinsky takes an equally deliberate approach and his careful reading of the lyrical
“I Long For You” covers familiar territory in popular song and Kloschinsky lifts the muscular drumming straight from his rock and pop influences, but there’s an insistent acoustic pulse and attentiveness to melody throughout the song distinguishing it from run of the mill folk rock efforts. “Ravish Me” has some of the same insistent rock energy heard in earlier song, but its an even leaner aesthetic powering this song. Kloschinsky focuses on melody as much as ever and the effort rewards listeners with another memorable entry. “Sing for the Silence” is one of the more interesting tracks on Nobody Knows thanks to its subtle, yet exotic, musical turns and the droning emotiveness in Kloschinsky’s voice. Vibrant harmonica turns the album’s penultimate number, “Tell Everybody”, into a breezy pop folk rocker light on its feet and bubbling with assertive charm. Nobody Knows ends with “Xmas Time Is Near”, the album’s shortest tune by far. The amped up shuffle gains added color, like much of the material here, from the inclusion of violin.
Paul Kloschinsky has released a handful of albums reaffirming the fundamental strengths of melodic and emotionally direct songwriting. He takes things a step further with his strong sense for the visual and powerful storytelling gifts. The supreme achievement of the album, however, is Kloschinsky’s ability for bringing those elements together in a completely realized musical package. Nobody Knows is his finest work yet.
9 out of 10 stars.
Paul Kloschinsky, like many of our finest talents, has largely worked off the radar as one of the best songwriters in the indie scene, but recognition is increasingly forthcoming. The laudatory critical notices continue piling up, awards are handed out, and Kloschinsky’s long pull away from the rest of the pack is closer to reality than ever with his latest release. The ten song collection Nobody Knows is anchored by some tried and true musical elements, for instance acoustic guitar and violin, but Kloschinsky’s songwriting vision extends far beyond unoriginal recreations of traditional music. He brings a number of influences to bear on the songwriting and incorporates them all into his songs with a steady, confident hand.
Some might quibble with the presentation. The album’s sound has a muted, funereal quality, but while Kloschinsky’s DIY realities demand certain concessions, there’s not a single production decision affecting the material in an averse fashion. If anything, the muted sonics give the material unintentional atmospherics it might otherwise lack. The title song is an ideal example. It is a meditative effort, but there’s a mood of artful restraint surrounding the song. Kloschinsky sings like a man who knows more than he’s letting on. “Do You Remember?” has a much more studied, openly sensitive air. Kloschinsky’s musical skill set means he understands the ideal marriage between arrangement, melody, and lyrical content. The added bonus, however, is that Kloschinsky understands how to finish it all off with his thoughtful delivery. “I Long For You” is one of the album’s more direct songs and his condensed, tightly packed intimacy drives much of its effectiveness. Songs like this flirt with commercial influences without ever pandering for attention in any significant way.
Kloschinsky spends much of his songwriting energy exploring connections to experience through his songwriting, particularly romantic entanglements, and the bluntly entitled “Ravish Me” covers much more ground than typical songs of its type. “Sing for the Silence” is certainly one of the album’s more unusual moment, practically a quasi-psychedelic acoustic turn with dreamy, elongated vocal melodies and an accompanying arrangement that achieves its effects through accumulation rather than any outright hook. “Can’t Forget About You”, however, practically demands a full fledged rock arrangement. The acoustic drive of the song has remarkable stridency for the relatively laid back nature of this album and its steady rise will prove an exhilarating listen for many. “Tell Everybody” has a vague Dylan vibe, but Kloschinsky never overplays his hand and lapses into outright mimicry. The album closes with the pleasingly layered “Xmas Time Is Near” which manages to honor the holiday it celebrates while moving listeners in a far deeper, more surprising fashion.
Nobody Knows continues a string of first class releases from Paul Kloschinsky and rates as his most sustained effort yet. His efforts are accessible, yet readily surrender perhaps surprising depths to listeners willing to travel with him. This is traditional music filtered through the prism of an unique personality and certain to leave a lingering positive impression on any astute listeners.
9 out of 10 stars.
Carlitos Music Blog
Paul Kloschinsky’s career spans five albums and the latest, Nobody Knows, brings together many of the same elements distinguishing his earlier releases. Thoughtful songwriting, solid structures, sharp instrumental talents, and a frequent emphasis on melody helped set his work apart from many contemporaries and those strengths abide on Nobody Knows. The album’s songwriting spirit, however, takes some unexpected turns along the way and they enliven an already sturdy work with a sense of daring and anything is possible desperately lacking, usually, in such releases. Kloschinsky is never a paint by numbers performer or songwriter. Even his DIY method of recording brings an unusual veneer to the work and helps weave added atmospherics where otherwise none might have existed. Kloschinsky turns everything to his uses on Nobody Knows and the result is an impressive ten song collection.
He kicks the album off nicely. “Fallin’ For You” doesn’t tackle any new subject matter for popular song, but Kloschinsky pours old wine into new bottles with more than a little style and facility. He keeps his guitar playing practical and quite direct – there’s no virtuoso trips on a Paul Kloschinsky album and not a single gratuitous note to be found. The same economical artistic vision helps shape the title song into one of the album’s marquee numbers. It’s one of the album’s best examples of understatement while still carrying a discernible personal flourish that sets it far apart from similar efforts in this vein. Klonschinsky often shows a wise and knowing sense of life’s absurdities that eludes music’s more literal minded songwriters. The slow swirl of strings and light percussion married with Kloschinsky’s acoustic guitar molds “Do You Remember?” into one of the album’s finest moments. The melancholy melody never overtaxes listeners with over-familiarity and lulls you in from its opening notes.
“Ravish Me” sprints out of the gate with a sprightly bounce that’s equal parts pop confection and even hints of commercial alt-rock bleeding through. There’s little question that, if he so desired, many of Kloschinsky’s songs could find new life as rock tracks and “Ravish Me” is no exception. He has a sharp ear for melody that never lets him down. “Can’t Forget About You” has a ton of propulsive energy and never relents from the first bar onward. Kloschinsky delivers an appropriately laconic vocal, but he’s attentive enough to varying his phrasing at key points for more effect. “Until You Said Goodbye” affords Kloschinsky a final opportunity to indulge his love for orchestral influenced pop music. The results are much more mixed than earlier efforts thanks to any uneasy union between the vocal delivery and lush backing track, but the song is far from irredeemable. Instead, it feels unfinished somehow, tantalizingly close to its fullest realization, but still falling just a little short of its potential. “Tell Everybody” is a nice late addition to the album thanks to its brisk pace and jaunty musical voice.
Artists like Paul Kloschinsky and his songwriting sensibility is increasingly rare in these fragmented times. However, these lonely voices are still wandering the wilderness, spreading their songs, and investing their time and heart into a tradition long predating them and sure to survive them. Paul Kloschinsky is a proud member of that tradition. His songs on Nobody Knows, like the four albums preceding it, are well worth your time and money.
9 out of 10 stars.
The Journal of Roots Music – No Depression
The fifth recording from Canadian songwriter Paul Kloschinsky, Nobody Knows, is a full length release well poised to capitalize on the growing critical notice he’s received for his most recent efforts. The ten songs on his new album reaffirm his constant strengths, center on his abiding virtues, and lunge free of his comfort zone is often surprisingly frequent ways. Kloschinsky doesn’t have a virtuosic voice, but his instrument has surprising versatility that allows him to convey his own songwriting for a potentially wide spread audience. There’s an understated rock and roll spirit imbuing what can otherwise be justly labeled an artsy folk album and some of the songs could certainly substitute their acoustic guitars for Fender Telecasters with little rearranging. Like all of the best songwriting, Kloschinsky’s creations are elastic and breathe. Nobody Knows, as a whole, is an important work.
It opens with the sharply paced “Fallin’ for You”. Kloschinsky certainly has thematic ground he likes to frequently cover, most often relationships between people, but he equally favors the brisker side of arranging. The opener maintains an impressive pace and scarcely gives the listener a moment to breathe. “I Long For You” is, arguably, the album’s best example of a high grand style Kloschinsky adopts on a handful of tracks trying to meld the sonic values of classical music with his stripped down acoustic arrangements. The experiment is not wholly successful, but “I Long For You” likely represents the high water mark of his attempt. Much of his songwriting efforts are confined to melodically strong but traditional fare like “Ravish Me”, but even these relatively upbeat songs embody the aforementioned idea that, with few changes at all, these tracks could work as quite impressive rock songs.
One instance of Kloschinsky busting out of self-constructed boxes is “Sing for the Silence” and his songwriting sounds quite convincing in its attempt to bring his soft-pedaled acoustic textures into accord with more exotic Indian flavored fare. “Until You Said Goodbye” is a final stab at another genre hybrid, bringing together classical instrumentation with his folk song roots and the result is quite pleasing. Kloschinsky delivers a fine, understated vocal. “Tell Everybody” seems to take a nod in the direction of songwriters like Dylan and Petty, perhaps with a dash of John Prine thrown in, but Kloschinsky’s point of view is his own and the melodic virtues of the song have no clear antecedent. The album’s finale, “Xmas Time Is Near”, surely rates as one of the album’s more thoughtful songs and a wholly appropriate closer.
Paul Kloschinsky’s upward trajectory continues. His songwriting covers all of the expected bases, but it’s heartening to hear someone so in command of their powers be so willing to reach beyond them and try to expand their frame of musical reference. His efforts at blending different styles on Nobody Knows are what gives it much of its merit and character. There isn’t any filler to be found among its ten songs and the album’s appeal grows with repeated listening.
Paul Kloschinsky – Nobody Knows
9 out of 10 stars.
ANOTHER REVIEW OF “BETTER LATE THAN NEVER”
Paul Kloschinsky has just released his newest album, Better Late Than Never, at the end of 2014. The stunning album blends complex elements of folk, indie and rock, creating a pleasant, and surprising 10-track album. Kloschinsky’s voice hovers over the tracks with a unique and steady hand. Kloschinsky currently resides in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, where he hones his songwriting skills. These skills are evident in Better Late Than Never, his fourth release. With several music accolades under his belt, he embraces his songwriting on these new tracks.
Opening up the record is the breathtaking piece, “Across the Sea.” Acoustic guitars are prominently strummed throughout the track, accompanied by an array of instruments that help bring the song to life. Kloschinsky’s voice is not overpowering, but it stands out and speaks volumes. The folk and Americana element is already noticeable within the track, which will carry through the record. “Better Late Than Never” is the title song from the album, which serves as a perfect representation of the overall feel of the collection. In the song, horns enter slightly that work in perfect unison with Kloschinsky’s vocals.
“When Dawn Breaks the Night” brings a very alt-country/indie-folk sound to the record reminiscent of an early Bright Eyes song. The addition of strings makes this piece an instant favorite. The vocals in the track are flawless, and the combination of instruments compliments each other nicely.
“Give Me a Sign,” brings a slightly different, more up-tempo feel to the album; bringing a true Rock n’ Roll sound into the record. “Pearl from Paradise” and “What Good is Love to Me,” usher a downbeat sound into the album. “Pearl from Paradise,” is filled with gorgeous piano work that will draw you in closer, listening to every melodic note that fills the space.
“The Soft Glow of Midnight,” brings the album back to life, with a slight undertone of 80’s elements. Synth keys are flowing throughout, giving the record an even more pleasurable and well-rounded musical experience. “Sundown Tonight,” is a breathtaking and heartbreaking piece on the record, with a beauty you will not be able to shake. The melody takes you away to a musical journey. “Knock on Wood,” fills the record with a strong and powerful string section that acts as a musical bed for Kloschinsky’s strong vocals. The piece proves to be gentle, and insightful in content. Closing out the record is “Electronic Paradise,” which is the perfect way to end the collection of songs. Clocking in at just over 5-minutes, the synth laced track combines a complex set of musical undertones to create a track that is compelling and danceworthy; adding something new to the album.
Paul Kloschinsky’s Better Late Than Never is a stunning collection of songs that will surely stand the test of time. Kloschinsky’s talent for songwriting and crafting together the perfect song goes above and beyond to impress in this record. This is one record that fans of folk-laced music should check out for 2015.
Better Late Than Never
By Melissa Nastasi
5 out of 5 Stars
CD REVIEW OF “BETTER LATE THAN NEVER”
The CD wastes no time getting off the ground with melodic intro piece “Across the Sea”. This song serves up infectious folk ambiance against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic guitar and driving rock rhythm that leads you by the hand down the path of soulful musical indulgence. Track 2 “Better Late Than Never” shifts gears a bit with its slamming Keyboard and impressive musical build to the chorus and thought provoking lyrical content, inviting/soulful vibe and infectious charm from Kloschinsky. Track 3 “When Dawn Breaks Through the Night” a somewhat striking piece that is full of musical peaks and valleys, impressive rhythm guitar that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Roy Orbison, John Cougar. Todd Rungren, Marc Ford, Gov’t Mule, John Cougar, Northern Mississippi All-stars, The Allman Brothers and Tom Petty. I would classify this music as rocked out Soul, Singer/Songwriter and Americana Folk-Rock with a fun and electrifying flair. The CD at times adequate brilliant peak and valley flow via a strong American perspective (via the lyrics) that takes no prisoners. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of Electric Guitar, solo guitar, Keyboards, and enticing melodies – all built on a electronic drum rhythmic foundation. As a vocalist Kloschinsky showcases a budding and soulful singing skill set. He’s got good songwriting instincts. He’s got a good “rugged” look. All the musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board. Kloschinsky has an effective baritone and his vocal risk-taking and overall touch behind the microphone are consistent. From rocking “Give me a Sign” to flowing “What Love to Me” to danceable “The Soft Glow of Moonlight” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 110 “Electronic Paradise” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
“Better Late Than Never” by Paul Kloschinsky is a compelling, soulful, melodic, musical journey. The music is diverse, consistent, grooving, upbeat, soulful and entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want an old school folk-rock experience to fill their atmosphere. This straight forward, easy to digest musical format makes for a great musical experience many will enjoy. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you.
BOOK REVIEW OF “DELIVERANCE”
Deliverance: A Poetic Journey of Redemption
by Paul Kloschinsky
reviewed by Omar Figueras
for the US Review of Books.
“My life had just become dangerous.
I have met a woman
with an alluring smile
and an eagle tattooed to her ass.”
Paul Kloschinsky’s poetry collection explores the full gamut of human emotion, plummeting into the dark chasms of anguish and despair, and rising to the reclamation of the author’s own life, a once-imagined unattainable height, while delving into the concrete details of everyday life.
The poems are structured into stanzas and sections; however, he writes in free verse with little to no rhyme scheme and his pieces take on a conversational tone, thus making the narrative authority familiar to the reader. Themes are far ranging, from portrayals of contemporary life, homages to poets, to religious and spiritual confessionals. The author summons Greco-Roman gods by name, invokes the great writers from the past, and requests that they bestow their wisdom. Kloschinsky also tips his hat to the demons which haunted him years ago and still scratch at his bedroom window at night, never allowing him to forget they are just around the bend. The title poem, “Deliverance,” begins with the classic image of a man lost in a dark wood–akin to Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”–and the narrator’s eventual rescue. The piece closes with a second stanza where the narrator envisions and compares his recovery to bright rainbow, a Judeo-Christian and animistic promise from the natural world to humanity.
An honest, heart-felt collection, Kloschinsky’s Deliverance could be considered a poetic chart tracking its author’s stumbles and falls, and eventual rise and skyward climb in his attempt to sing his songs.
BOOK REVIEW OF “A TIME TO CRY”
The US Review of Books
A Time To Cry
by Paul Kloschinsky
reviewed by John E. Roper
“I used to have peaks
and valleys in my life.
Then the valleys got deeper
and the peaks shorter.
Until it was all averaged out,
and I’m stuck with a
sub-par life in a rut.”
No one’s life is a complete joyride. We may be cruising along on smooth asphalt for a few days or even a month, but eventually even the most peaceful of life’s journeys encounters a pothole. Unfortunately, our highways also contain more severe road hazards, ones often resulting in personal loss, which can sometimes cause us to spin out of control and leave us stalled for a time in the middle of nowhere. In this first collection of his poetry, the author chronicles a time when he was stranded by his own road’s difficulties in a place of madness, depression, and unrequited love.
Kloschinsky’s musings reflect a soul in turmoil, a mind and heart that cry out first against his mental illness and what it does both to him and those who love him. A trained physician, he suddenly finds himself the patient forced to endure the probing of psychologists and hypodermic needles. Depression follows, and poems with titles such as “Despair,” “Useless,” and “Suicide” reflect the poet’s mood during that period. But the theme that the author revisits most often and which pervades the entire last half of the book deals with the bitter loss of love.
Although obviously well-educated and familiar enough with classical literature to include the occasional reference or allusion to a poet or a specific literary subject, Kloschinsky’s own verse is unpretentious and uniquely his own. While thematically reminiscent of the works of both Rod McKuen and Sylvia Plath, his poetry’s relation to theirs is due mainly to a similar life’s journey. As painful as his subject matter may be, the author’s emotional transparency and competence in his craft make his poetry a pleasure to read.
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)
ANOTHER REVIEW OF “WOODLANDS”
Paul Kloschinsky, Woodlands
November 30, 2011 | by Skope
In 2007 Paul Kloschinsky won the Music Aid Award for Best Canadian Songwriter. He resides in BC, Canada. I remember when I used to live in Canada the air was fresh and everything seem to have an extra sensitivity to the nature around us. Paul’s latest release, “Woodlands” has that same authenticity.
Each song has an unique feel to it. It is mellow and dreamy. There are some enticing guitar solos and picturesque lyrics. I can see why he won an award for his songwriting skills. He has an interesting way to tell a story with his droning melodies that leave lasting impressions.
The CD was appropriately titled. It is a journey through undiscovered territory. The music takes you on a pleasant stroll in the back woods and gives an appreciation for the world around us. The CD is as natural as the air we breathe.
Paul Kloschinsky’s CD, “Woodlands” is worth a listen. It provokes a sense of foreboding and then offers a comfortable resolution through melody and story telling. This CD is a 45 minute ride through atmospheric music. He claims it was a decade in the making. Within that time each song has grown into a life of its own.
NEW REVIEW OF “WOODLANDS”
From Mossip –
Fans of Bob Dylan will rejoice at discovering Paul Kloschinsky. His songwriting style is much like Dylan’s though vocally, I’d choose Paul. At times, though, on songs like All I’m Hopin’ For, you may think you are listening to a young Dylan.
The song Wearin’ Blue won him the MusicAid award for songwriting in 2007 in Canada as well as being a semi-finalist in a UK songwriting contest.
Good folk songs are more like poetry than most songs, and Paul knows that, and with Woodlands he creates a more than listenable album. Some stand out tracks besides the award winning Wearin’ Blue are In My Mind, All I’m Hopin’ For and the Gordon Lightfoot-esque Like Nothin’ Before.
Also, like Dylan and Lightfoot, Kloschinsky doesn’t have a perfect voice. At times its very gravely, but it provides character to the songs he’s singing. This may not be for everyone, as those kinds of voices are an acquired taste.
Besides being a talented songwriter and performer, Kloschinsky also shot the photography for the cover art. Pretty impressive!
CD REVIEW OF “WOODLANDS”
Sent By: Paul Kloschinsky
Album Title: Woodlands
Artist: Paul Kloschinsky
Reviewers Name: Julian Gorman
Rating: 4/5 stars
Title of Review: Woodlands Magic
Woodlands is a consummate work of art where prodigy Paul Kloschinsky writes, sings, plays guitar, harmonica, produces and even shoots photography for the album cover to create a very cohesive folk album. Intense lyrics explore a wide range of subject matter that is both timeless and elucidating with natural common sense wisdom.
The first thing one notices about Paul Kloschinsky is consummate creativity. A poet, artist, photographer, singer-songwriter, and producer, to name but a few occupations, the album Woodlands is a renaissance of expression all from one illustrious performer. For a moment at the beginning, one is thrown off a bit by the lamentation of life and the coarse vocals, but soon swept up by intensifying strings and piano welling up under the acoustic guitar, everything is in its place. Wearin’ Blue harkens to blues and folk dirges circa 1960s style, acoustic and harmonica, but most important, lyrics that strum a chord deep down in the soul. Paul never just writes a blues melody, or a love song, as the introspection is always considering different perspectives. As opposed to the common stereotype of blue being depression, here we are talking about sorrow, a concept all but lost on a satiated culture. The real definition of blue is mystic, and fits mythos made in ancient Gaelic or perhaps Hebrew lore more then anything modern. For these ancient traditions, the color blue was multifaceted pertaining to all the aspects of life shaped by the spirit of the color. The Blue magic, as it is becoming pop-classified, is typically animalistic, and pertains to natural common sense for survival. They are a less spoken of class somewhere between bards, druids, and ovates in Irish lore, taking some skill from each practice and combining them with a wild style, like a wise old hermit. Also, the blue is somewhat literal, as the tuatha Gorm (my own ancient surname, literally means blue in Gaelic, if a reference is necessary) were renowned for running into battle painted blue. You may recognize this from Braveheart, which casually ripped off the heritage, and portrayed it completely wrong; my family ran into battle, weapons in hand, blue and naked. So when Kloschinsky sings “And the wind blows the wasted words that were tried, down to the poets who fought as they died, wearing blue” thinking of my family, it brought me to tears. I can see the millions, not only of my own lineage, but any natives who stood up for their beliefs in nature, and I am right there with him. The tragedy of all the witches and forest people, decimated by the new righteous politico religioso by any name, pick an invader; pick any paranoid reason to massacre the innocent for thousands of years. Generation after generation throwing themselves at the great evolving armies of the world, and yet they carried on saving a multitude of natural wonders merely by living side by side with their environments. Wearin’ Blue is an epic of much sorrow, but understand it is a victory song, redemption of sorts, as the miracle is that these old poems still exist at all. Not all the might of all the empires that ever stood could stop the bards from singing on. Long live the Woodlands!
Especially refreshing is Kloschinsky’s ability to mix natural metaphors of the wilderness with modern cultural problems to offer elucidation. Songs like Woodlands, In My Mind, and Whisper of the Wild Weeds give simple explication. “Take a moment, breath the air. It’ll keep you hangin’ on.” It may sound silly, but the worst thing anyone can do in a bad situation is to clench up and hyperventilate. Remembering to take the moment, to actually breath fully, to think instead of panic, is perhaps one of the biggest problems we face. Paired with simple practical advice are the more abstract metaphors of nature, specifically elementals. How quick are we to forget how each bit of nature is required to sustain us. Kloschinsky sees a different world then most. It is clear from his poetry that the natural world is not only very much alive, but that it all flows through us. This is why Paul’s folk-flow is language piercing, adding multiple definitions to each subject, always changing perspective to consider the truth, and the honest truth is unspeakable, forever changing.
Beyond the natural world is the nature of culture. “Have you heard the tale of the princess who was jailed in a dark dirty prison where she cried a thousand sleepless nights for the many who had died but fought bravely by her side to the end?” The epic story in the song Seven Riders seems to reach backward through time to mystic history when kingdoms were first being built, and still touches any timeline, as one could picture a new Americas being torn apart by settlers, the princess could just as easily be a cowboy’s sweetie or a native’s beloved. The story is a Mad Libs of every “rescue the princess” type of scenario that ever took place throughout time. It is difficult to even find stories or poetry on this level of epic odyssey. Paul Kloschisky’s works seem to emulate the courage of Homer’s Odyssey, especially the imagery of An Anchor from the Race, yet there is something more there as crazy dreams are allowed to seep into the storyline. A better comparison may be an emerging James Joyce right around the time Ulysses was being written. Ulysses was the commoner’s Odyssey. The peregrinations of the main characters in Kloschinsky’s songs are universal in application just as the affairs found throughout Joyce, or even Dostoyevsky, as the everyday hum-drum life becomes the living natural world, and that every character in life has an equal opportunity to be the hero, the villain, or anything between. With this sort of egoless thinking, elemental understanding, and poetic elegance, Paul Kloschinsky is an amazing story teller. Be it poem, song or art, The Woodlands has been crafted with such deftness that one might say it was grown. The spirit of nature is accurately recorded and translated for us in a way that provides a new take on old answers to many social ills, as coming from the environment and common sense. Not only is it a great album, but a voice that must be heard in this climate of post-modernity mechanization madness. All the resources are gathered around us and now we simply suffer from a lack of good resolutions to our vices. Paul’s wisdom seems to indicate that the key to life is natural and all around, if you but take the time to notice, you will survive. Perhaps that is the secret of blue magic that earned them the title “Immortals.” Woodlands is a timeless album, protected by the wisdom of love for nature and life, validated with the suffering of all who cleared the way before, a blue hymnus of truth.