Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Electric Arguments," briefly

Watching Paul perform "Sing the Changes" on Letterman the other week inspired me to revisit Electric Arguments. Happily, a few casual listens confirmed that it's still an engaging collection of songs. What comes through most vividly is that, unlike some elder statesmen of pop music, Paul has not settled into his ways. Not even close, in fact. He remains a restlessly creative artist; that fire still burns within him. Just think about the robust genre-hopping that he carries out on Electric Arguments- from stoner blues ("Nothing Too Much Just out of Sight") and freak folk-y gospel ("Light from Your Lighthouse") to anthemic rock ("Sing the Changes") and prog ("Universal Here, Everlasting Now"). The album is nothing if not varied. And it's also quite weird at times, which is most welcome coming from a 67 year-old man. That said, I haven't altered my view that the end of the album stagnates a bit because of several drawn-out and loosely structured songs all in succession. But it's not for lack of effort on Paul's part. As a whole, Electric Arguments showcases a musician still hungry, still focused, and still pushing himself, despite having already conquered the world many times over.

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