Pale Young Gentlemen
Pale Young Gentlemen


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kiran EMERITUS
October 24th, 2007 | 16 replies | 4,200 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist


Think of a musical. The musical is based somewhere in Europe, the time period isn't specific and doesn't play a major part. The plot is based around a young man. The story revolves around innocence, love, and good old fashioned fun. This is the music that would accompany that musical. Wisconsin based Pale Young Gentlemen have created one of the few genuinely fun albums I have ever heard. Do not let the length fool you, this covers everything and more of what you would expect from a barely half hour record.

While the uniqueness of this band prevents me from categorising them too specifically or making comparisons that won't do their sound justice, the band could almost be defined as a more energetic, more piano-based Arcade Fire. The orchestra arrangements, including a cellist in their line up, are intricate, majestic, and fitting to the songs, adding an entire different dimension to the compositions. The most noticeable elements of the band however are the leading piano and the deep, melodramatic voice of Matthew Reisenauer, who brings the stories to life. The piano riffs are crafted beautifully, with the lead in 'A Shadow on The Wall', accompanied by the cello, inducing the feeling of a playful child. The vocals range from soft, emotional crooning, effortlessly contrasted with a high falsetto tone, that can just as easily be shifted straight back to his cheerful, smooth, and deep singing voice.

That's not to say the rest of the band don't hold their own. The cello adds a feeling of loneliness and sorrow in the slower songs, as well as accompanies the piano with teasing strokes in the upbeat songs. It adds that deeper feeling to the songs and the band certainly aren't afraid to highlight it, making the cello as audible as possible for the listener in many of it's parts. The drums keep the beat steady and solid; or as a drum beat can get as it seamlessly graces through the various odd time signatures in the songs.

You don't have to look far to find examples of the theatrics in this album, as the band uses the piano, orchestra, and crooning to reach climactic points that are nothing short of magnificent in songs like 'My Light, Maria'. If you want those sometimes quirky, always catchy, dance anthems, look no further then 'Fraulein' or 'Clap Your Hands'. If you want an emotion-packed, slower, more Coldplay-esque melody, give 'As A War' a spin. More straightforward pop songs can be found in the form of 'Up North' and album closer, 'Single Days'. If you're looking for the more obscure and the different, let 'Me & Nikolai' or 'Saturday Night' grace your ears, songs that would not sound out of place at an Oktoberfest beer hall. The piano and the cello come together at their finest in 'A Shadow on the Wall', crafting one of the albums highlights. 'An Appeal to St. Peter's chanting back up vocals and joyful piano beat make it yet another great tune in a great album.

Pale Young Gentlemen craft a different sound in the world of indie music and this debut album is nothing short of magnificent. If I was to identify a flaw on this album, it would not be on the performance, the production, or the music because quite simply, they do what they do wonderfully. I only wish they would've done it longer. This half hour tour de force will leave you yearning for more. Do yourself a favour: buy this album.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I bought this album recently and I fell absolutely in love with it. It's not like anything I'd ever heard before. I may sound a bit fanboy-ish at times but honestly, I was shocked to find this band hadn't even been added to the database yet, so I had to get this review written.

Hope you enjoy. As usual, all comments, criticism, and votes, are appreciated.

sgrevs
October 24th 2007



698 Comments


Nice review, this sounds pretty good. Is it anything like Beirut? That would be sweet.

I would check this out, but I imagine it being hard to find around here. Oh well.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've never actually heard Beirut, despite a few recommendations, however a few sites compare Pale Young Gentlemen and Beirut, mainly focusing on the orchestration aspect.

There are hints of their influences, at times sounding like a patchwork of Andrew Bird, Beirut and The Dresden Dolls, but bringing them all together was a wise move.


http://www.drownedinsound.com/articles/2446385

Think gypsy-folk orchestrations, not unlike Beirut, rich cabaret-esque vocals and Decemberist-level theatrics and you might come close to achieving the poppy, piano-based sound of the Pale Young Gentlemen but you'd still be a bit off.


http://volume-knob.blogspot.com/2007/08/pale-young-gentlemen.html

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2007



6093 Comments


Good review. If it's anything like Beirut I'll check it out.

Iai
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



3553 Comments


I'm sold.

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2007



6093 Comments


I'm listening to the first track right now, and it's pretty tight. I agree with most of the influences stated so far (Beirut, The Decembrists, etc.). I like this a lot; I'll definitely look out for the album.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you liked the first track, you'll love the album.

kalkal50
October 26th 2007



2386 Comments


sweet review, your best
if I have any luck I'll find this, for now i have some non-metal priorities myself though

Kiran
Emeritus
October 26th 2007



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks man, maybe you should vote if you feel like it, or something.

Be sure to check this out.

kalkal50
October 26th 2007



2386 Comments


there you go, and I will google this now

Kiran
Emeritus
October 26th 2007



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

appreciated.

Me and Nikolai has become one of my favourites on this now

kalkal50
October 27th 2007



2386 Comments


I listened to all their myspace songs twice. This is really really good.

Kiran
Emeritus
July 14th 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this album seriously deserves more listeners on this site.

foreverendeared
July 14th 2008



14678 Comments


good review. i'll vote for sure. i'll definitely check this out tooThis Message Edited On 07.14.08

rasputin
February 3rd 2009



14538 Comments


This is good.

Maggiemayjay
January 27th 2012



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review! I already love Pale Young Gentlemen, but reading this review made me put it on. (Nicely done)



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