It’s like Dante and Bunyan in guitar-funk form.
Label: Independent (www.paulpoulton.com)
Time: 13 tracks / 59 mins
I was drawn to this because of the Larry Norman cover (“Reader’s Digest”) and was glad I heard this highly original piece of work.
Unique he may be, but that doesn’t mean that that Poulton’s influences don’t show. He is clearly affected by Norman in his healthy and creative approach to what should go into a song. “Bad Things People Do” is also like an early, bluesy Norman song (but with the title bit of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” as the chorus) and “Saw the Devil” has a bit of “Be Careful What You Sign” about it.
Poulton’s voice is like a thin version of John Lennon’s (especially on “The Image”) and sounds a bit stretched at times. His approach is Bunyanesque: the lead character takes a journey through life and meets scammers, traffickers, giants and mythological characters. You can get a good idea of the way this works from the ‘lyrics and commentary’ page at www.paulpoulton.com.
With topics including trust, porn, ancient history and relationships, this is immensely thoughtful material delivered in a light, upbeat package.
This is guitar-led with a dance sprit; the opener is just one funky riff looping round. But Poulton also uses an inspired and well-judged hue of vibes in “Crying Out Loud,” a smidgeon of synth in “Porn” and sticks a leg and a half into rock and blues along the way. At times it feels a little low-budget, but he has varied the approach to guitar across the disc and it feels more polished when there is less going on.
I know of nothing out there with this blend of acute observation, guitar-based funk and elevated sense of purpose.