Quickie CD Reviews: Jay Reatard's Watch Me Fall, Jack Peñate's Tonight's Today and Pablo's There's Rope to Leave (video)



Jack Peñate "Today's Tonight"

Jack Peñate's second album, "Today's Tonight", is meh. This 9-song release has been billed as "better than his last one" by many critics, but since I am not familiar with Peñate's work, I have no frame of reference. The album is well produced, but the songs and lyrics seem a bit generic and sophomoric at times. Peñate does have a sweet and sultry voice that will make some women and gay men generate some fantasies. My taste is a bit more vitriolic, so don't let me dissuade you from checking this one out if you like Damien Rice. Interesting tracks "Let's All Die" and "Everything is New".


[image-2]Pablo "There's Rope to Leave"

Pablo's second release "There's Rope to Leave" is a pristine 9-song collection of enchanting, piano-driven songs. Comprised of frontman Paul Schada and his family and friends, the New York band recorded their second album at drummer Levon Helm's studio (yes, the Levon Helm). At times, Pablo's lyrics are tough to understand (which may be Helm's fault as he is known to make Cheech and Chong look like amateurs), but the sticky melodies make up for the unintelligible garble. Highlights "Holy Whore", which includes a dog barking, "4th of July" and the upbeat "Hey Luci".


Jay Reatard "Watch Me Fall"

Jay Reatard's new release "Watch Me Fall" (out August 18, Matador Records) is a scrappy garage punk record that could be easily confused with any other scrappy garage punk record released in the last 10 years. It's not bad, just not anything that is different. The songwriting is repetitive, but enjoyable with an acoustic guitar here and there helping with the song dynamics. With that said, as a fan of scrappy garage punk, I enjoyed the blitzkrieg style songs, never letting up and driving his quirkiness home in every track. Highlights for me were opener "It Ain't Going to Save Me", "Can't Do It Anymore" and "Rotten Mind".

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