“Gone” is the first track on “Palomino”, and it provides listeners with a brand of pop-infused rock music that is similar to the music created by Sarah McLachlan or a harder version of Kendall Payne. Instead of just trying to focus on one specific genre of music, Skaugen’s allure comes in the fact that ey goes through a number of different genres in the creation of “Palomino”.
The music that Skaugen plays on “Palomino” may not ever be truly appreciated by the NPR crowd, but will find homes in the hearts of millions of radio and mTV adherents. “Skid” is the second track on the disc and it shows the slightly slower side of Skaugen. This track could easily become the theme music for one of the shows on the CW; there is a heavy amount of emotion present even as the instrumentation bolsters and highlights every nuance of Skaugen’s voice. The production value of the tracks on “Palomino” are strong; I would guess that Skaugen was a major label artist if I did not have the CD in front of me. Simply put, there is nothing present on this EP that would make me doubt the ability of this artist. The safe style of pop music played here links itself at varying times to rock, alternative, and indie genres. “5 Weeks Away” is the hump track of the album, the one song that would really make or break Skaugen. This track operates in the median between the faster “Gone” and the slower “Skid”, and adds a little funkiness to the track.
The vocals are still the focal point of the track, and even when the instrumentation takes over the track (before the chorus), one can still feel the energy of Skaugen working its’ own magic. The ability shown throughout the entirety of “Palomino” is enough that I could feel good sticking in a full length disc. When Skaugen moves on to the full-length format, there will be no problems in translation; the music is scaleable and there is more than enough material for individuals to chew on. If Skaugen continues on this track, I could completely see eir going forth and rocketing up the charts just as soon as those in charge of radio and video music stations give eir a chance. Get in on the ground floor and chances will be good that Skaugen will impress.
Top Track: 5 Weeks Away
Noush Skaugen – Palomino / 2007 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.noushSkaugen.com / Reviewed 04 June 2007