So the guys from Be Like Pablo were kind enough to send out copies of their brand new debut album The New Adventures to bloggers and reviewers alike. With all the hype of the Olympics underway, I was looking forward to hearing this album even more than watching some of the best athletes on the planet reach the pinnacle of human endeavour. Luckily for me, it more than lived up to expectations.
The Forres based band have self-funded this release and are even generous enough to be giving it away for free on the 3rd of August, but after having a listen, I would happily pay the full amount for this debut which dazzles with it's diversity. For me, it's like Belle & Sebastian meets Jimmy Eat World meets Beach Boys: male/female vocals; some heavy riffs mixed with melodic guitar and piano; and the uplifting noise of Moog synths. Oh and throw in a bit of rap while you're at it.
(Tracks aren't yet up but will be asap) Lyrically, Ewen is all about love and I've tried to interpret some of them while also doing some sort of review. These aren't going to be bang on but hopefully in the ball park (And they aren't in order either!):
In The Things That You Do, he is looking to get into a relationship, but it just seems a bit impossible for him because the other person isn't giving off the right signals, but he is intent on working out how to win her heart- even though he 'can't understand (your) heartbeat'.
Song number two- The Post-it Song- shows off some of Jen's awesome synth playing skills, as well as the Jimmy Eat World esq guitars. Again Ewen is open about his feelings as he wants to be in someone's life, but he isn't too sure how to go about it and whether it would be good for them. JUST GO FOR IT EWEN!
It turns out Ewen is in love with Julianne which is the third song. Maybe this is the girl from the first two songs? But anyway, it doesn't matter because 'everybody knows the words!' (That's your cue to shout, 'I'm in love with Juli-a-anne!) Okay, fun over. In all seriousness this is one of my favourite Be Like Pablo songs. It's catchy, upbeat and easy to sing along to- which are always the best and most memorable songs. You'll definitely find yourself singing this one in the shower.
Oh Emily Another lover perhaps? Who knows really, but this song seems to show a bit of an issue for Ewen because the two seem to have a relationship that's trying to blossom but she's not entirely convinced. No one ever comments on bass playing, but there is a nice bit of bass going on in Oh Emily, bringing something different to an already excellent song.
Someone To Love could be an Elton John song with the first few bars of piano, but don't worry, this is still Be Like Pablo. This song goes by its title, in which we need to find someone to love and care for us when things aren't going our way. I enjoyed the big chorus in this song; it's one of the middle songs where the album peaks, so it makes sense to have the big vocal performance here. This is the most diverse song as it's actually almost a power ballad with a hint of barbershop quartet.
Spirit of Adventure continues with the male/female vocals with Jen and Ewen sharing the mic. This song is mostly guitar based and could almost classify as a rock song. The anonymous subject of the song is said to have the same spirit of adventure as a child. Maybe Ewen likes this, but then again maybe not. Who knows, but that's all I can get out of this song meaning wise; otherwise Spirit of Adventure is an awesome head nodding song.
Without The Pain was a bit of a surprise for me when I first heard it. I didn't see the rap song coming but it really does work for the band and throws another genre into an already eclectic mixer. This song also reminds me heavily of Where Is My Mind? by The Pixies. Another one of my favourites.
The shortest song on the album- Love Is For The Living- seems to be a bit of a dream or fantasy for Ewen. He attempts to make a girl feel better by showing her his love, but it turns out to be false as love only happens in real life (hence the name of the song, I guess).
I Can't Dance involves more cool synth, more romance, and a reference to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers...even though Ewen can't dance. Oh and there's also a reference to Batman and Catwoman, but let's leave her out of this, no one likes Catwoman.
Between The Lines rounds off this flawless album with, of course, more romantic lyrics as Ewen points out all of the best traits in his romantic interest. He is more direct and confident in himself in asking someone to spend time with him. He realises you have to 'read between the lines' to find the truth.
All in all, this album is the result of multi-talented individuals coming together to reach the first step of -what I predict to be- a very long and successful career. The New Adventures will open the gateway for this relatively small band into the greater reaches of the music scene, not just in Scotland, but in the rest of the UK, I'm sure. Next years SAMA'S beware!!