Folk is ever evolving and in the hands of a singer songwriter, such as Shane Papatolicas, it is taken to new heights and what a musical journey it is.
Shane has released previous CDs both here and back in his homeland of the USA; this time not only is there a biting reality to his lyrics, but a musical collage we can all be carried away by and the opening track, Inside Out, has a sense of urgency about it with its rock intro gently moulding into a folk based number which would sit very comfortably in Cat Stevens’ repertoire. Despite there being various nods to other artists, Shane is his own person and any semblance to other artists is solely the same as any other performer and he is fully in charge of his own lyrics and melodies.
Protest songs work best when they are subtle and interwoven with other distractions, as the listener then catches the gist of such lyrics in his/her own time. Something That Might Have Happened is the musical epitome of this and is not a gloomy in your face song by any means, but it does hold the thoughts of many of us to which we can easily relate: Half the world is dying, half the world is dead. Does it need to get any clearer than this? There is no proselytising or preaching here, just factual lyrics mixed in with everyday thoughts. Clever. All of this with an appealingly simple musical backing gives this track its inner strength.
The title track, Broken Lines, carries its own wisdom within it and Shane’s outlook on life shows a journey well-trod: I let you go and you let me down, I make an excuse and you beg me to stay. With lyrics such as these, the album flows through from track to track, almost like a seasonal trek through a musical wonderworld.
Is this a concept album? Well, yes and no; there are links between all the tracks, as Shane cleverly carries the subject matter over from track to track without saturating one. This gives the album, BROKEN LINES, a fresh definition and by listening to it an insight to a mature and personal outlook on life and all its complexities. This is an album to listen to, to chill to, to learn from and to purchase.
Uncut and Unsigned