Over Under Through
Mean, Moody and Introspective Soulful and Bluesy AOR.
First of all what a cool and eye-catching cover on the CD; I’m pretty sure it would have made me pick it up had I seen it in a Record Shop.
To some degree the artwork captures the mood of the music on the album too; quite laid back and difficult to pigeon-hole.
A glorious swampy sounding ‘chant’ opens the record; Go Down Ezekiel sounds like something Eric Bibb or Keb Mo may have recorded had they got to it first; most notably because of the dirty guitar licks throughout.
With that in mind probably the third time I heard the next song Ghost In the Basement I got to thinking that the best way to treat this album of divergent Roots music was to imagine it a soundtrack to mean and moody Detective drama starring Idris Elba or Kevin Costner.
Nelson has a fascinating voice; part velvety crooner and part dime store gangster as he inhabits the characters in his songs.
There’s a claustrophobic sense of menace on Lay a Little and the title track Over, Under, Through which sounds like Chet Baker re-mixed into a Levon Helm track creating a diamond cut mysticism.
Nelson’s re-working of Cash’s I Walk The Line sounds a lot more Soulful in the way our man purrs the heartbreaking lyrics, as if he’s drowning in molasses; but still keeping the original pathos intact throughout.
The production and musicianship is spell binding throughout making something like the sultry Secret or Relative Weeping sound quite extraordinary at times; and defying categorisation, with AOR being the nearest I can think; but with added Blues and a dash of Southern Rock in the shadows.
I still think my original description of this album being a soundtrack to an ‘imaginary Detective series or film’ but there’s a subtle touch of contemporary politics slid in too with the slow and Funky Silent Majority; but it could easily fit into my Soundtrack concept too.
If you’re still with my Soundtrack concept; my Favourite Song would be the title for the Film/TV Show; Colour It Blue.
Just imagine if you will, what the opening verse conjures up……
“I can take a sunny day
and fill it with rain
Hijack your peace of mind
Drag you to a house of pain
Pretty Rainbows fade to grey
At the sound of my weeping guitar.”
Surely it’s an anti-hero PI or Cop in an overcoat trawling the mean streets in the and shadows of the dark end of town.
Surely it’s not just me?
Even if you don’t go with my theory this album is the perfect antidote for what life is throwing at us these days; turn the lights down low and wallow in not just Paul Nelson’s pain and sorrow; but his amazing voice and the magical musicians supporting him.
Released January 25th 2019