Sean Fournier
Paper Tiger


3.5
great

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
July 28th, 2009 | 15 replies | 5,749 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Carefree.

The disheveled, faceless man pictured on the cover of Sean Fournier's sophomore album 'Paper Tiger' is assumably a simplistic caricature of the singer-songwriter himself: a rough-around-the-edges, slightly awkward and disproportionate young adult set loose in a minimalist wonder-world of bubbly, askew typography and earth-toned, textured backgrounds. From the depreciating loose ends of the caricature's semi-formal attire to the unbalanced and insecure posture that it assumes, the album artwork communicates great lengths about it's content: 'Paper Tiger' isn't complex, nor is it revolutionary; it's unassuming and insecure, unpolished and endearing -- 'Paper Tiger' is carefree.

Much like opening up a basement freezer to find it filled with ice cream sandwiches and fudgsicles, 'Paper Tiger' is stocked up with a plethora of sugary singer-songwriter treats that are endlessly tasty and really quite useless as far as their nutritional value is concerned (musical elitists are forewarned to stay far, far away). Major acoustic guitar chords, dweedling pianos and complimentary drums sum up the running time of 'Paper Tiger', crafting an illustrious singer-songwriter creamsicle of bright, youthful melodies and catchy, memorable choruses. A youthful glow emanates playfully from frolicsome indie-pop songs such as the appropriately titled opener 'Step Inside' or the perky 'Falling For You', while foreboding, minor-key numbers like 'More' and 'Lie' culminate cumulous clouds of semi-angsty folk-fluff that drizzle like a spring shower rather than brood like a summer storm. Irrelevant similes aside, 'Paper Tiger' is happy-hearted, light-headed and (depending on your mood) either a) sickeningly sweet or b) joyously delightful.

Inauspiciously, during Fournier's adamant quest for dancing-daffodil-good-guy-cutesiness, he subconsciously blurs the lines between "carefree" and "careless". The contextually forgivable production tries far too hard to sound big-budget and impressive and subsequently sounds alarmingly brittle and synthetic. In songs such as otherwise pleasant title track and 'Broken Stereo', Fournier ropes in his timid, insecure tenor voice, dips it in unnecessary syllabic nuances, fries it in awkward out-of-place harmonies and completes the poorly-produced cuisine with an unhealthy dousing of saucy, overbearing autotune that sacrifices his catchy melodies and winsome lyrics, hemorrhaging the bustling potential that many of his songs possess. Fournier's compositions are also largely similar in intonation, which - when paired with his quiet, murmuring voice (the man must be a chronic mumbler) - meshes the album together into a slightly repetitive but nonetheless harmless journey. Truthfully, 'Paper Tiger' seems largely unequipped at times, playing like an extensive collection of ill-tailored demos rather than a streamlined, cohesive marathon of benign, feel-good tunes.

Despite it's flaws (some of which add to the character of the album), 'Paper Tiger' is honest, sincere and just too darn cute to pass up. The album is a lovely listen, best enjoyed whilst sitting upon a rooftop reading a non-introspective novel, drinking an iced beverage purchased from a local lemonade stand -- it's a summer album of sorts. For those who are looking for intelligent, overbearing pseudo-intellectual brilliance, you've unfortunately come to the wrong place. However, for those feeling bogged down by the burdens of pretentious and overwhelming folk music (hey there, Sufjan Stevens and Colin Meloy) and are looking for a carefree passageway into a personal world of flowery indie, 'Paper Tiger' is a sure way to go.



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user ratings (1)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
July 28th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I predict: nobody cares.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 28th 2009


10195 Comments


I predict I will leave checking this out until I can cope with the prospect of 'cute' music; ace review, though.

Waior
July 28th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, strikey. Yeah, it's 'cute'. My summary was actually made in thought of your "hyperactive" summary.

cvlts
July 28th 2009


8955 Comments


Accidently double spaced between the second and third paragraph

other then that, good review yet again.
never heard of them though

ziroth
July 28th 2009


1252 Comments


himself: an rough-around-the-edges


good review, I'd like to hear this.

Lelle
July 28th 2009


2156 Comments


Waior is a really solid reviewer methinks, great review, might even check this out

cvlts
July 28th 2009


8955 Comments


Waior is a really solid reviewer methinks


tis

marksellsuswallets
July 28th 2009


4848 Comments


Nice review mister "I'm to busy with summer school blah blah blah"

Waior
July 28th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, if you haven't heard of him and would like to (you should), he has a FREE EP available for download on his website. It's collectively better than this album. Check the review (and subsequent link) here: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?albumid=36354

Brent, it's a ten minute review... have grace...

Thank you everybody else for the feedback, lelle, dantes and ziroth.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 28th 2009


10195 Comments


summer school i thought you said you had a life! haha

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2009


20857 Comments


I predict there will be more predictions to follow...

Waior
July 29th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Adam, haha, yeah, well it's an online school so it's flexible to meet my bustling life. Haha.

Davey, make a prediction. Now.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2009


20857 Comments


I just did.

But for your sake, I'll make another one: The Backstreet Boys new album will suck.

Waior
July 29th 2009


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You're being too broad. UNOBJECTIVE. Zero in on an indefinite thing.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2009


20857 Comments


Alright, how's this... In 2010, an epidemic of donkey flu will emanate from Mexico.



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