“Wall St.” shows individuals immediately that Pablo is trying to shoehorn eirself into the space between Americana singers like Devendra Banhart and new-folkies like Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes). The vocal harmonies of Pablo during the opening track is almost enough to keep individuals interested, but it seems like “Wall St.” suffers a little bit during the Spartan musical arrangements present. If there were just a little more in the way of backing during this track, the interductory effort by Pablo would have been stronger.
This is not saying that Pablo whiffed on the track, but that Pablo’s next ten tracks on “Half the Time” have to aspire to impress a little bit more than this wobbly introduction. The arrangements present on the title track do not give individuals much of an idea where Pablo is trying to go, but seem to be reined in as soon as the vocals become prevalent. The resulting track is a stronger track than “Wall St.”, but could have benefitted from clipping off the odd introduction.
The first minute of “The Talk” gives listeners hope that Pablo will have eir first flawless track of “Half The Time”, but the somewhat-sloppy patch up of two distinct styles after the first minute seems again to hamper Pablo, even if the immediate result is very catchy melodically. After this minor issue, Pablo does well in increasing the energy of the composition, again derailing later on in the track. What would be strong normally seems to be converted into something that has a few sharp crags to sand down before individuals can get behind the song. “Loser Crew” is the first sub-three minute track on “Half the Time”, and it marks a string of tracks that share a similar track length. By lopping off forty-five seconds or a minute of composition, the resulting tracks seem to be stronger than those that are three or four minutes. I feel as if Pablo realizes that ey has less time to come forth with a compelling track, and being put against a wall, the best tracks of “Half the Time” are freed. “Loser Crew” is one of these tracks, and Pablo’s soft-spoken track mesh well with the softly-stated instrumentation during the track. Even when the track speeds up, all parts seem to be working well, Pablo’s effort being a more well oiled machine than during any prior track. For the next album, I would have to say that Pablo needs to stick with the shorter songs and try to come up with a unified sound between the vocals and the instruments. If this can happen, the resulting album will be much stronger.
Top Tracks: Loser Crew, Focus
Pablo – Half The Time / 2006 Curb Appeal / 11 Tracks / http://www.pablosmusic.com / http://www.curbappealrecords.com / Reviewed 29 April 2007