steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Andrew Pahl

"Dreams Deferred" CD

Red Knot Records

Genre: singer / songwriter, pop / rock, adult alternative

May 2007

You folks remember Duncan Sheik? He had a hit with "Barely Breathing" but few realize he released five competent singer/songwriter albums, including 2006's acclaimed White Limousine. Well, Edmonton's Andrew Pahl is like Duncan Sheik number two. His Dreams Deferred is a consistent, solid work of pop/rock targeted at the adult alternative demographic. He's glossed his sound up more than Sheik's earlier efforts, and it sounds a bit more contemporary, but if you like one you'll probably dig the other.

This record isn't exactly my bag, but I can respect catchy pop music when I hear it. A tune like "Shaken" is a basic pop tune with more hooks than a slaughterhouse, and "Crazy" has a pretty release melody. Whether it's the more "rock"-y stuff like "The World Surrounds You" or the fragile acoustic strokes of a song like "Across the Waves," this stuff is catchy enough to get trapped in your head within two listens. I would have liked Pahl to try something a little less conservative on Dreams Deferred, but I can appreciate the importance of a solid, simple singer/songwriter record now and again. This is a likeable, pleasant album that could be enjoyed by many if given the right promotion. And I like it a lot better than much of the contrived "singer / songwriter" stuff that's given radio airtime these days.

andrew pahl's myspace


Memory Lane: Duncan Sheik's video for "Barely Breathing"

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, 46:40, distributed by the label, released 2006]