“Everything Is True” – ‘Paul Dempsey’ [Joint Review]
The other day I was berated for saying the phrase ‘slim-pickin’s’, they said it was – to quote:
“… so nineties…”
That basically epitomises today’s Joint Review pick for our Sunday today.
Not “… so nineties…”
My counterpart has been the driving force behind finding – on occasions decent, on others average – albums that have been reviewed. We’ve had some killers, like “Lungs”, and occasionally some strong adverse views, like ‘Jarvis Cocker’s’ “Further Complications” [oh, the irony!]. Some might be asking:
“… So, TEG, why don’t you pick an album for once?”
Good question – if I manage to find something worth reviewing for both of us, I’ll not hesitate to mention. My counterpart’s music knowledge seems second-to-none, and I’m still learning all the ropes. Now to today’s album, and, disappointingly, it is a side-project. Fans of ‘Something For Kate’ will have already heard of ‘Paul Dempsey’s’ side-project at current, and that’s “Everything Is True”. Any good?
Let’s take a look at:
Back a few months ago, if any of you can remember that far back, we both took a crack at “Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper”, the side-project for ‘Interpol’s’ lead. It wasn’t a masterpiece by any standard, or at least, I found I got caught up in its repetitive style, and it’s lack of ‘Interpol’ standard. Although I always expect side-projects to be different from the main-band affiliate, this was totally off the scale. Though ‘Interpol’ had been spiralling out of control after “Turn On The Bright Lights”, I felt that they had found their spark after all at “Our Love To Admire”. It brought back that classic ‘Interpol’ and it was totally understated. And you’re wondering where I’m going with this: ‘Interpol’ is just an example for how side-projects seem to ‘hinder’ positive growth in main-band affiliates. By that, I mean, ‘Interpol’s’ lead and drummer decided to go off and play with the fairies, make their own music, and come back only to ‘Interpol’ when they had exhausted all their musical talents elsewhere.
It’s no different to “Everything Is True”. ‘Something For Kate’ were a band that I hadn’t taken interest in for the better-part of three years. I was introduced to them back when they were apparently at their height, and I just couldn’t find a connection between them and myself. I thought the music was a tad ‘wishy-washy’ and predictable, and I was expecting a bit more. To be honest, I really couldn’t make it half way through “Everything Is True” because it was really eating away at me. I frown on side-projects for the simple reason: guys/gals, if you’ve got spare time on your hands and you’re already in a band, put that focus to your main-band before you go off and do something yourself – improve what you have, don’t start anew.
‘Interpol’s’ side-projects, in my eyes, were laughable, they’ve really earned themselves a reputation as the pessimist from their three albums, and when they broke that mould, they were – sorry to be so blunt, but – hideous. ‘Paul Dempsey’ seems to have taken the elements from ‘Something For Kate’, and has only reworked the sound here and there to produce acoustic/alternative style songs that aren’t explosive, that never really vary in grades of layers or pitch, and aren’t overly lyrically appealing. And if that wasn’t a hint for genre-alone, I’ll underline the fact that you’ll expect acoustic, more acoustic and even more, acoustic. It’s that classic – yet overused – style of male-and-guitar, with only a hint of percussion here and there and vocalisation that doesn’t quite grab and hypnotise you. Where ‘Florence Welch’ had power, had soul in her voice for “Lungs”, “Everything Is True” has this persistent volume that makes songs melt into each other unrecognisably.
For this, I hate it.
We’ll take a look at the opener, which isn’t overly-grand: “Bats”.
Opening organ, very soft, the soon-to-be consistent acoustic guitar, ‘Paul Dempsey’ himself. I suppose it builds a little with the inclusion of other string-instrumentation, but ‘Dempsey’ has two volumes: loud and louder. Not to such an extent as screamo, but as loud as he can muster it. Those girlish-highs which are supposed to heighten emotion on the chorus, or accent a specific lyrical-phrase just don’t make things any better here. I don’t feel like including any lyrics because I don’t feel that anything is especially notable. They’re the typical love-based lyrics, or situational-lyrics that I find give the basis for most acoustic-style bands. Take for instance ‘Lifehouse’, which I think overshadows this and ‘Something For Kate’. Same wish-wash, just some of their songs clicked more with me than others. Not to say that I like them to the same degree as ‘Interpol’, though – ‘Interpol’ epitomise kick-ass. I think all this experimental, all this trip-hop, this rock, this ambience, has really inured me to acoustic because after a while, you kind of know what to expect.
Yes, yes, I know ‘Dempsey’ is a multi-instrumentalist, but the music doesn’t sound multi-instrumental. I guess if you like that ordinary, somewhat mundane, sound of acoustic, you’ll be right at home. But I’m looking for a little more spark. I’m not hearing any favourites or any stand-out tracks, so I’ll let you be the judge for the rest. Feel free to disagree, but I just cannot and will not like this. I guess it’s a great Joint Review album because I suspect my counterpart will take the opposition. And that’s even better, because then you guys get to see – since last time’s “Further Complications” – hopefully, some clash of disagreement.
That should be interesting.
Because I really haven’t been interested in this album, I haven’t given it a thorough listen – and whenever I rate an album poorly, just off firsthand, I don’t think it does anybody any justice. First-hand, I’m tempted for the lowest rating I can give it – need I write it out? But I’m not going to bother this time round. If you want a more enthusiastic opinion, check out my partner’s review and perhaps you can find for yourself, some notable tracks or otherwise.
The Enantiomorphic God