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Album Review

PAPERCUTS
You Can Have What You Want

There are many ways to color the psychedelic palette and from what I've read about Papercuts and Jason Quever, I would have thought he would have gone the way of the sunshine pop side of things, putting a heavy sixties edge on the music, but he didn't. Wait. He did. Uh, no, he didn't. Actually, he did, but from track to track stretches the time frame considerably. Sixties here, seventies there and bits and pieces of every decade to the presence, but always within his own framework.

That framework lies on the underwater side of pop, but don't be thinking pop, really. There is a progressive edge to the music most of the time, thanks to a heavy dose of keyboards (the organ has a dirge-like quality which carries that prog/psych edge to a very good extreme at times). It is that edge which keeps this from tipping into the pure pop realm and while I am sure that Quever could handle it, that is not at all where he was when he recorded You Can Have What You Want.

Where he was leaned more toward the softer and psych side of Seattle's Goldie Wilson, my pick for last year's psychedelic/pop sweepstakes. True, Goldie Wilson rocked a bit more and stretched their horizons beyond floating underwater psych, but there are moments on the Papercuts' album which are straight out of their world, the most obvious being You Can Have What You Want. Slap that in the middle of a GW set and you wouldn't even blink an eye. And that is a good thing.

I was turned on to Papercuts by a guy who goes by 'Clarkophile' on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums (he is a Gene Clark afficionado) in a thread having to do with the lesser knowns. During the run of that thread, another Hoffman-ite brought up an interesting point having to do with the sound. He was disturbed by the distortion on the voice and, after listening closely, I cannot deny that--- to a degree. The difference between myself and that guy is that I find the recording enhanced by such technique, intentional or not. While the sound is a bit muddied, it adds to the overall mental aspect--- hence, my comment regarding the 'underwater' quality of the music. Partially thanks to that, with lights out, middle of the night, this album will take you away--- if you have any sense of musical adventure at all.

Maybe that's the key. Anyone not truly into psych should lock themselves in a closet (comfortably, of course) when listening to this for the first time. I mean, have you ever noticed that music hits you hardest in the dark, that it can take you away faster and further? Papercuts' music thrives in such an environment. It is mindmusic of the first water.

As for 'Clarkophile', you might want to check out his music blog. He runs down whatever is on his mind, most of it revolving around Gene Clark and the music of Clark's time, and is thought-provoking if not downright illuminating at all times. He is always worth a read and you might find yourself following his lead when it comes to the music he covers. I do. Hence, Papercuts and a good amount of closet time. Kind of like a womb in here, I've heard. Without the music, of course.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.

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