Apparently I have quarterly writer’s block. Almost 3 months to the day of reviewing an album I was at a loss for words to describe, I find myself in the awkward position again.
As a music fan, did you ever just have an album that you just wanted to share with the world? By this, I mean, that you would want to take over someone’s sound system, car stereo, push a wedding DJ out of the way so you could tell everyone “this is what you need to hear?” Much to my friends’ chagrin, I have been this guy several times in my life. Fortunately no wedding receptions were ruined by me being drunk on musical ambition.
I find myself in the same position with the debut by Miracle Parade, Hark! …and Other Lost Transmissions. I want to write up 500 words of clever descriptions and anecdotes that encapsulate how Christopher Pappas’ music shook me to my core. Instead, I just want to go up to every person who reads this with my iPod in hand and say: “just listen.”
How do I describe how great “When It’s Your Time” is? It is a pure rock ballad that is kept simple enough in beat and tone that the emotion comes through in a way that strums your heartstrings, but that doesn’t do it justice. Pappas sings with enough timbre in his vocals that is missing in so much of today’s “indie rock.” There is an admirable certainty in his vocals, in a way that shows a confidence in Miracle Parade’s product. Songs like “I’m on Your Side” and “I Will Make You Love Me” have a lo-fi, home-recording vibe but are presented with enough honest feeling that speak more to an intimate sound than they do to low production value.
While I sing praises of simple ballads, Pappas nails composing songs of complex richness like “Los Feliz Spiritual #41” and “Lost at Sea” which bring in steel guitars in a way that doesn’t scream “Country.” “The Dying Physicist” turns back the clock for me to an emotionally charged 90s alt rock tune I would have worn out on one side of my 90 minute cassette tape.
Hark… is not an album that I would say “you’ll enjoy if you like [this].” I’m sure the indie crowd will flock to it, but honestly, it’s as simple as [this] = music. If you like music, check out Miracle Parade.
Or else I will shove my ear buds in your ears and tell you to like it, and no one wants that.