I am always up to give an artist who wants to go against the grain a try. When I read that Nate Paladino started writing his own songs because he was tired of hearing about good people “being done wrong” in songs, it felt like it might be a good match, especially after coming across this quote from the artist: “I write what I know. That masculinity is broken, the grass is greener where you water it, and that liquor heals all wounds that time does not.” Although I do not agree with that last one, I found myself intrigued.
Then I saw the title of the first track, and I started wondering if I had made a big mistake.
The instrumentation and melody on the opening track are quite 1950s and 1960s pop, which makes the slightly dark lyrics come in sharp contrast. I found “My Kind of Bitch” a weak opening track for many reasons, including the focus on all things negative with his lover. Instead of being inspired to think that, “Wow, here is a loyal guy”, one is left wondering why he is still with her. Similarly, the following track, “Buy Your Heart”, has a certain creepy feel to it as Nate Paladino promises that he will buy a person’s heart and make it love him. The creep factor is increased with the softness of a melody plucked on a guitar and the soft singing.
The frustrations of a guy who has put effort into wooing a woman who responds with a noncommittal “maybe” is addressed in the high energy of “Don’t Say Maybe”. The fast-paced 1950s pop melody reflects well not only the feelings of frustration but also of confusion and, at times, of despair. It is the highlight of the song. Things are taken down a notch with “Come Back Home”, which contains some country notes, which are also present in the following, higher energy “Something to Prove”, before closing on the ballad “Friend in Need”.
With lyrics that tend to be introspective yet dark, set within blues, ballads, rock, and 1950s, 1960s pop-imbibed melodies, I can see how the EP, to be released on November 7, could appeal to listeners who like to dwell on the negative aspects their lives. More information is available on Paladino’s wesbite.
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