Review Summary: The bones aren't broken, but something certainly is...
We live in an age where nostalgia is used to sell so many products, and we observe the past in media more than any other era yet. Now if you’re going to bring back gospel flavored soul and jazz back from the late 50’s, you may as well 1. Progress with the genre and bring in your own personality or 2. Become a vintage throwback band for the misfortune of people who wish they could have grown up in that era.
Oh, you’re going with option 2…well…I suppose that’s alright I guess. I mean it could be worse. Everyone has their tastes…
Anyway, I have to give them a credit, for their lead vocalist Paul Janeway, has a set of lungs that could break the psyche of an 80 year old monk. Leading off with some surprising charm, considering you wouldn’t expect someone who looks like the love child of Drew Carey and Mr. Incredible to pull off the outrageously courageous yet dated swagger of a Doo-Wop showman.
Now if you could just show some emotion in your gospel finesse you’d get somewhere farther. Alll I’m obtaining from your tenacious delivery is punch. There’s no sincerity I’m getting from your soul inspired band, and each song is more or less the same in terms of song writing, structure, and lyrical themes. It’s about as uninspired as the artwork they put on the album cover.
If these guys were in the 50’s, they would be hitting it pretty big, I’ll give them that. But this has been done numerous times before, and done in a more profound manner. The musicianship is there, but what St. Paul and the Broken Bones lack is innovation and ambition. There is little contrast in the album, I honestly can’t pick out from memory high and low points through any of the songs or remember a hook (if there was one) or anything that stood out in the instrumental region.
However, in small doses, there are some songs worthwhile if you’re not looking forward to what the genre was supposed to give, which is soul. Lead single, “Call Me” is what the band should be doing throughout the entire album, which is strange because IT IS what they’re doing, yet every song under this one is like comparing gold to copper. Seriously this and “Broken Bones and Pocket Change” are really the only songs that I came out and said, “That’s actually really good.”
Give it a spin if you want 40 minutes of some JUST FINE monotony.