The Glass River is the title of Paul Maged’s latest release, a collection of six pop and alt-rock tunes covering such topics as climate change, relationships, guns, and corporations.
Maged attended the Boston Conservatory, followed by the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York. He’s appeared in a variety of films, including Bobby G. Can’t Swim, and his song “Falling Down” was featured on MTV’s Think Again: Sex Myths Revealed.
“Gunz 4 Hire” is a fulminating punk-flavored tune written after the 2016 Orlando shooting. The opening guitar riffs exude dark energy and a visceral impact. You know right away this song is going to be dynamic. And it is. The chorus carries an echo of Talking Heads that works well. “Corporate Hell” emanates a British progressive essence combined with a bit of garage rock. The lyrics decapitate the corporate culture, as Maged’s voice takes on a Freddie Mercury tang.
“Choices” rides a Beatles-crossed-with-Kinks tune. Lots of piano and an ebullient proximity give the song a jaunty feel. The title track features a driving piano and a potent rhythm that changes tempo, adding to the declarative effect of the song, which pertains to perceiving the truth in the mirror of water’s reflection.
“For The Sea” offers a melancholic ballad about the rise of global oceans subsequent to climate change. The tune is mellifluous and the lyrics are poignant, but for some reason putting the two together gives the song a disjointed feel, as if the lyrics came first, thus molding the shape of the music. “Life Goes By Prelude” begins with an elegant, evocative piano flowing into a progressive tune that’s short and pithy.
The best song on the EP is “Gunz 4 Hire” because of its raw punk-like energy. The other songs are innovative, especially the lyrics, which range from somberly serious to side splittingly funny.
The Glass River is better than passable, with sparkles of latent excellence. The harmonics flow well, providing musical support for the primary focus of the songs – the socio-cultural commentary of the lyrics.