The newest release from award winning Canadian songwriter Paul Kloschinsky is the latest high point in a steady artistic ascent. Kloschinsky’s biggest musical debts are obvious, even on the latest album Nobody Knows, but the ten songs compromising his latest offering are cut from an intensely personal vision superimposed over familiar arrangements and vehicles. Readers shouldn’t be alarmed, however – Kloschinsky is rarely content to simply play out formulas for his audience and cannot resist spiking standard progressions with atmospheric or, in some cases, dissonant touches. It is often said, from the Bible on, that there’s nothing new under the sun. Paul Kloschinsky likely agrees with this, but he likely believes it’s all in how you say something as well.
“Fallin’ for You” breaks the album open with some of its best songwriting. Kloschinsky frequently, on this album and earlier works alike, displays a flair for narrative outstripping many of his contemporaries. While Kloschinsky’s approach certainly differs, he inhabits a songwriting world focused on voice and character and the ability to convey such things to listeners musically and as few words as possible distinguishes him from the pack. The title track comes into play on the album’s second slot and, surprisingly, it’s a great move. The more moderately paced theatrics of the songwriting are beautiful when contrasted to the comparatively upbeat opener. “I Long for You” is a delicious blast of pure orchestral pop with impressive energy. The musical attack never misses a step and Kloschinsky’s unerring instinct for arrangement gives it added musical weight. “Ravish Me” nominally presents itself as a no frills folk rocker in the vein of earlier tracks, Kloschinsky imbues it with subtle flair on the guitar. This little extra gives the song a push it might otherwise lack.
His turn on “Sing for the Silence” highlights a different side of Kloschinsky’s skill. He has an understated poetic touch that never risks histrionics or pretension, but instead, plays as a heightened expression of his perspective. “Until You Said Goodbye” has some of the same quasi-orchestral feel of the earlier “I Long For You”, but it’s a bit more restrained than earlier and Kloschinsky, inexplicably, fails to invest the lyrical content with the same vocal punch distinguishing earlier songs. “Tell Everybody” is a welcome gear shift from the previous song and has a breezy, harmonica-spiked approach that will find wide appeal. Nobody Knows ends with the memorable “Xmas Time Is Near”, another brisk folk-flavored song, but the song’s impact is diluted by vocals buried too deep in the mix.
Paul Kloschinsky deserves considerable praise for the songwriting and musical skills displayed here. The DIY production doesn’t always present the material in the best possible light, but his talents emerge from even the murkiest mix and simply can’t be denied. His fifth album is his best yet and sparkles with melody and imagination in equal measure, but there’s a rock and roll spirit lurking just below the surface just as capable of impressing listeners. Nobody Knows will, surely, garner the positive attention of many.
8 out of 10 stars.