So this is the first album review for Radio Free Raytown. I have been frustrated by writing reviews for other publications in the past, so now that I have my own thing going here, I’ll do it the way that makes sense to me. As always, please let me know if this format is valuable.
Album: Thin Skin and an Open Heart
Label: Allalom Music, 2009
- Pacifico is the project/band of Matthew Schwartz. I identify with a guy writing pop songs but never having a consistent band with whom to record and play.
- The album would be at home amongst albums by Jimmy Eat World, Copeland, Richard Swift, Death Cab for Cutie and Starflyer 59.
- Speaking of Starflyer 59, the album was produced Jason Martin and features other members of that band, and it sounds like it was recorded immediately after Dial M was recorded. Same drum sounds, mixing and everything. That’s not totally a good thing, as Schwartz veers into some Kinks-like territory toward the end, and some looser production should have been in order.
- The first song, “(Prelude),” sounds way too much like a Richard Swift song. And that’s a good thing.
- The song title, “Caroline, Oh,” is cute.
- “We Are the Easily Forgotten” is the best song on the album. Super catchy. Check it out.
- Schwartz’s vocals are almost always doubled, and there are usually many more layers by the time he reaches his choruses. I would like to hear him a little more bare; push back the instruments and allow a lone vocal to shine. From my own recording experience, it seems like his singing to the other vocal layers stifles his desire to convey more emotion, at times.
- “Salvation Army” sound a lot like a Sam Billen or Death Cab for Cutie song.
- Overall, it’s a catchy and pleasant album. I’m kicking myself for missing the band play at The Beaumont last week.
If you want a copy of the album, Allalom Music is selling it for $12 (including shipping and handling). It will also be up on iTunes soon.