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Pablo - Half the Time Review

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Paul Schalda is the lead singer and songwriter behind Pablo but the band is sort of a family affair. Paul's brother William Schalda, Jr. contributes piano while the Strandberg brothers, William and Michael, hold down the rhythm section. Everyone is a background singer and to add a feminine touch to the band, the singers include Paul's wife Margaret. And on Half the Time's opening track, William Schalda, Sr. blows a little blues harp. "Wall Street" begins slowly, with Paul singing about taking a job on the dollar-drenched street with all the enthusiasm of a man walking to the gallows. About half way through the dirge-like number, the music explode from gentle guitar and harmonica to a cacophony of slide guitar, cymbal crashes and other effects that imply the deed has been done. Basically the song encapsulates the feeling that a life has been wasted dreaming, and now it's too late. "Half the Time" is a jazzy number incorporating finger-snapping as percussion that borrows melodically from Steely Dan while the arrangement of "Focus" recalls the style of Blind Melon. Pablo's music isn't overtly psychedelic but on "Calm Down" you can imagine a forest of mushrooms and flower petals leaping and swirling about. Paul wrote everything here except for "This Will Be Our Year," an obscure cut originally done by the Zombies. As Paul sings in one of his lyrics, these are conversations based on his life, and as interpreted by this tight-knit group, you can't help but empathize.

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Pablo - Half the Time

Label:Curb Appeal

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