What Am I Listening To 2014 – “Forever” and “Soft Hammer” by Painted Palms

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Album Reviews, What Am I Listening To 2014
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Painted Palms ForeverForever” by Painted Palms is an album of tracks squarely aimed at your radio, provided that your radio is located in the mid 1960’s. The songs are primarily straight-up mid tempo 60’s pop rock with a couple of nice ballads thrown in. They usually contain catchy melodic hooks that will remind you , in turns, of artists from that era such as the early hollies, the zombies, the move and even the Beatles and the Beach Boys, especially in regard to songwriting style and overall feel.

Of course over that you’ve got this whole lo-fi thing going on, which means the production is a bit left of center from what might be authentic  60;s production style. Sometimes the sound is a bit harder on the ear than what you might expect or want from these types of light pop songs. But unlike Toy, who I commented on previously, the production tricks on this album mostly augment rather than detract, giving the album a psychedelic haze. Occasionally I feel as though I’m listening to old vinyl 45s on a cheap portable turntable, which may be as intended.

The songs that stuck in my brain most are the title track with its Beatlesque chorus,  “Soft Hammer”, a ballad with a Brain Wilson melody vs an instrumental mid-section that build to a noise-driven crescendo, and “Spinning Signs” which is another
nice upper mid-tempo pop song with another good hook.

In the end I’m kind of left feeling that they might have had more mass appeal if they had polished it up a bit. Then again, maybe that would be true only if it actually was the mid 60’s.

I recommend giving this one a shot if any of the name checks above interest you.

“Forever” and “Soft Hammer” are tracked back-to-back on the album. That’s good enough for me. They’re now on the What Am I Listening To 2014 Playlist.



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