Paul Kloschinsky – Nobody Knows
Award winning Canadian songwriter Paul Kloschinsky has established a much deserved reputation as a formidable talent, but his latest full length release Nobody Knows likely pushes him onto a much brighter stage than before. Rarely are albums so unified and, yet, so difficult to pin down stylistically. Kloschinsky maintains a strong uniformity of mood and atmosphere while displaying all the characteristics of a musical chameleon, seamlessly alternating between various strains of genre without the seams ever showing. This fleet-footed facility places his work in a rare class. Kloschinsky’s recording has a distinctly low-fi ambiance, but it enhances the intimacy of the release. The ten song collection sounds like songs written in the wee hours when bleariness skews our perceptions in attention-catching, imaginative ways.
“Fallin’ for You” provides an excellent primer on Klonschinsky’s style for any novice and an affirmation for those familiar with his earlier albums. Klonschinsky is a well-rounded songwriter, but there’s a distinctly cinematic or narrative-based quality to much of his work “Fallin’ for You” embodies through its wealth of specific detail and the undeniable voice informing its narration. There’s a strident pop rock element present in the guitar playing. Things are much more tempered on the album’s title track than the opener, but the same atmospherics pervade despite being employed to different ends. The more meditative mood means a different use of energy, not less of it. Placing the album’s title track so near its opening curtain denotes a certain confidence “Do You Remember?” has an understated mournful swing underscored by the slowly unfolding violin lines laced through the arrangement. Kloschinsky takes an equally deliberate approach and his careful reading of the lyrical
“I Long For You” covers familiar territory in popular song and Kloschinsky lifts the muscular drumming straight from his rock and pop influences, but there’s an insistent acoustic pulse and attentiveness to melody throughout the song distinguishing it from run of the mill folk rock efforts. “Ravish Me” has some of the same insistent rock energy heard in earlier song, but its an even leaner aesthetic powering this song. Kloschinsky focuses on melody as much as ever and the effort rewards listeners with another memorable entry. “Sing for the Silence” is one of the more interesting tracks on Nobody Knows thanks to its subtle, yet exotic, musical turns and the droning emotiveness in Kloschinsky’s voice. Vibrant harmonica turns the album’s penultimate number, “Tell Everybody”, into a breezy pop folk rocker light on its feet and bubbling with assertive charm. Nobody Knows ends with “Xmas Time Is Near”, the album’s shortest tune by far. The amped up shuffle gains added color, like much of the material here, from the inclusion of violin.
Paul Kloschinsky has released a handful of albums reaffirming the fundamental strengths of melodic and emotionally direct songwriting. He takes things a step further with his strong sense for the visual and powerful storytelling gifts. The supreme achievement of the album, however, is Kloschinsky’s ability for bringing those elements together in a completely realized musical package. Nobody Knows is his finest work yet.
9 out of 10 stars.