CD REVIEW: Paul Sforza - "Lifelines"
By Gian F - 04/26/2003 - 03:19 AM EDT
Artist: Paul Sforza
Genre: AC Pop
Sounds Like: Variety
Technical Grade: 8
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8
Commercial Value: 6
Overall Talent Level: 6
Songwriting Skills: 6
Performance Skill: 6
Best Songs: You Don't Have To Hide Your Feelings, Right Where I Wanna Be, Over And Over
Weakness: Not a collectively commercial package/choruses are not memorable
CD Review: I've had many conversations with musicians about "jamming" versus "playing" a song. Paul Sforza, a singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia, has successfully transformed his jamming band into a tight ensemble of musicians who play well together. The musical influences that are revealed through out this CD are reminiscent of Eric Clapton, Elton John, The Beatles, Queen, and maybe even the pseudo funk of KC & The Sunshine Band. There is even a competent attempt at Country ("Lonely Man") that further deepens and diversifies this collection of songs.
While the wide array of musical influences and tight musicianship make this CD easily digestable, Paul's mediocre vocals, prosaic lyrics, and limited vocal range fail to make it memorable. In fact, most of the songs showcase the musicality of the players within the confines of well structured songs - which is good for Paul since his voice lacks the edge, conviction, aggressiveness, or distinction that characterizes many of the great singer/songwriters.
This is not to say that Paul should not come anywhere near a microphone, it just means he's got more work to do when he's on it. The best song on the CD ("You Don't Have To Hide Your Feelings") is the best collaborative and performance effort of Paul and his band. A delicate, but strong and solid display of musicanship, talent, and production that serve as a prime example of the commercial product that they can deliver...if they want to.
Advice: Be aware of what your limitations are as a vocalist. Create more songs with choruses that are easily identifiable (and memorable), and take good care of your band! They are taking good care of you.
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