Ear-thquake by Paul Helmig – CD review by Templeton

Tony Floyd Kenna | January 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

Ear-thquake -

Paul Helmig.

(linnmo1)

CD review by

Templeton

It is with great pleasure that I have a chance to review an album that has been sitting on my shelf for over a year, yet always finds its way regularly into my cd player.
I received eight albums from Paul Helmig on a day that felt like Christmas. I spent the next two weeks dissecting every song, and although I enjoyed all the albums (being a fan) this one, “Ear-thquake”,  kept calling me back again and again.
It is not the most polished production in Paul’s discography (as even he admitted to me), but this is maybe one of the reasons I’m attracted to it.
The album has an effortless organic feel to it, the songs seem to slide into one another as if they were performed live in one take. But most importantly  one gets a feeling of having heard it before, yet unable to put your finger on any of them and that’s what good songwriting is all about.
  1. Earthquake — This eerie opener transports the listener to an isolated space,( let’s say the Nevada desert) although the haunting sounds paint a landscape that is left to the listeners imagination. Here one is faced with a million earth shattering questions, who, what, and why? Will we survive, and more important will the planet survive us or has she been abducted by humans?
  2. Sickening Act of Greed —  One is abruptly wakened by this push and pull song about a strained relationship. The verse is dark as a paranoid mind tries to justify it’s every move.  A deranged note that sounds like a washing machine gone deranged gives way to an even murkier almost Goth-like chorus…what’s not to like?
  3. To the Son — Beautiful acoustic guitars bring us up close and personal with Paul on this one. He delves back into his past and lets you into an atmosphere of love, vulnerability and magic.
    Paul 1975 76
    Paul Helmig circa 1975
  4. Forever — A comforting  lullaby a father would sing to a child. This is beautifully written and performed with chirping birds that serenade and assure us that life can be wonderful if we just let it.
  5. Met a man named Joe — An almost Spanish style guitar and percussion introduces us to a man named Joe and one called Syd. Who these characters are is still an anomaly to me and maybe one day they’ll crop up in another song? Then out of nowhere a melodic chorus that’s been plucked out of another dimension steers one off on a tangent of questioning doubt about these individuals. Personally this is one of my favourite songs of Paul’s — it must have been some party!
  6. The Whistley Song — Indeed bells and whistles greet ones ear on this most happy uplifting tune. Picture mountains, fireflies, rainbows, starry skies and blue-birds all wonderfully accompanied by lush vocals and crisp guitars. I wonder if Paul wrote this whilst on vacation in the Rocky Mountains or perhaps listening to John Denver on the porch.
  7. The Undertaker — Contrary to the title there is a rather energetically cheerful vibe to this song. Even before you hear the lyrics you’ll feel like getting behind the wheel and taking a long drive. In the words of the undertaker, ‘I just gotta get out of this place’.
  8. End of the Road — After our road trip with the undertaker,  we find ourselves at a crossroads. In a way this Pink Floyd-ish piece — with warlike sounds in the background — comes full circle to the start of our journey with Earthquake. We are once again left out in the desert of our isolation questioning which way to turn? In the end the choice is yours…
Paul Helmig Back Cover - Earthquake
Although there are only eight tracks on this album, it feels as if you have been on an epic journey floating through a timeless array of musical artistry.
The fact that it was recorded back in 1995 and still sounds as fresh as any new modern release, just shows the skill of Paul’s production and vision.
Paul Helmig has gone on to record many new songs and albums, both solo and collaborating with other artists. His video productions have left people in awe and one is left to wonder what will this brilliant mind think of next.
The entire album is available for free download here:
You can also view some of Paul’s work on Musicians Together – http://musicianstogether.com/user/linnmo1
Paul Studio 1 (1)
Paul at work in his studio
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Category: CD Reviews