Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jeff Lynne via Paul Melancon

 Anyone know who Paul Melancon is?

Here's what AMG had to say about "Camera Obscura," the album from which this little gem comes from.

"Paul Melancon has managed to pull off something rather extraordinary with the aptly titled Camera Obscura. Indeed, he offers listeners a series of pop music snapshots, each having a unique allusion to something that is not at all obvious to the naked ear. As enjoyable as this record is as background or driving ambience, you really need to listen closely and thoughtfully to get the full scope of Melancon's talent and really understand the twists and turns of his characters and stories. You see, the running theme of this particular work is a fictitious California amusement park and the star-crossed lovers therein. Again, you really need to pay attention here, lest the indelible melodies fool you into thinking there's a happy ending awaiting your arrival. And how "Jeff Lynne" fits into the scheme of things is yours for the figuring. As far as the songwriting goes, Michael Penn and Neil Finn are the closest approximations, just to give you a ballpark reference, though sonically Melancon has something slightly different going on. It's impossible to set the parameters of his sound and work, but it will remind you of something somewhere that was pleasant. Atlanta has had the privilege of enjoying Melancon's previous work. Thank goodness Amy Ray and her Daemon Records saw fit to share this one with everyone else."

I've had this track for some time as part of a power pop compilation. But now I think I may have to dig deeper and check out "Camera Obscura," since he also covers "You're So Good To Me," a Beach Boys' song that never stops giving.



bglobe313 said...


I had (and am pretty sure I still have) that Camera Obscura album (obviously NOT the Scottish group). My assessment was that it was a solid B+/B effort. The blurb comparison in songwriting to Michael Penn seems accurate to me.

Ace K.

Sal Nunziato said...

Found a copy on eMusic. Gonna give a spin. I was more drawn to the Neil Finn comparison.

Anything Should Happen said...

It's an ok album, dandy, but nothing mind blowing or gripping.

Ace - Are you saying Mr Michael Penn is not A List, how dare you!!!!

You should stop living in the past, are you a Kings Of Leon fan blah blah etc etc.

Sal Nunziato said...

I think I may have been saying Michael Penn is not A-List. And the Melancon record is fine. Not great. You're both right.

bglobe313 said...

The BEST of Michael Penn is definitely on the A-list. But on the later releases I would put most in that solid B area. You can tell he's trying hard and has a brain, but the music and lyrics don't quite have the distinctiveness to really grab me.

I could see how someone (even Don!) could love 'em all, and I wouldn't think that person was a fool (even Don!), but for me he's one of those I just wish were a little bit better.


A walk in the woods said...

Nice Tune! Sounds like that ELO song, "Livin' Thing" to me.

bglobe313 said...


Paul Melancon (solo) opened the early show for Joe Pernice (solo but with Scud Mountain Boys Reunion) at the Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA, last night.

He seemed like a charming guy with a lot of literate tunes. I was wondering what they would sound like with band instrumentation.

Ace K.

P.S. Joe Pernice was (and is) great.