Paul Childers – Naked Poetry

The first full length studio release from twenty two year old Paul Childers, Naked Poetry, announces that a major new talent is on the scene. Childers’ thirteen song collection co-opts the sound of classic R&B, complete with horns, but manages to drop some tasty and utterly tasteful guitar into the mix for an even stronger outcome.

He blends his voice with the assortment of instruments and textures in such a way it contributes to the overall strength of the release. This is a man who never rushes a single note; he coaxes each syllable from his throat with just the right amount of smoky, physical thoughtfulness.

Naked Poetry is an album set to stun – Childers throws in everything but the kitchen sink in terms of style and the remarkable thing about it is how unified the album sounds despite its disparate strands. It’s his command of the performances that brings it together – there’s never a second when Childers falters.

It’s easy to hear his steadiness from the first. Music Pulls You Through has real pop appeal, but also showcases his R&B chops as a singer and the top flight backing band he’s assembled for this effort. Childers is an equally fine guitarist and his contributions, rarely announcing themselves, color the album is subtle but significant ways.

Many of the same strengths abide on the second song The Art of Being Twenty, but Childers shapes his artistry in a distinctly different fashion here. This is much more modern in tone and sound, but the same command of basic songwriting fundamentals remains firmly in place. It’s far from the album’s sole peak.

At Our Own Pace is another fine cut that demonstrates Childers’ and the band’s aptitude for groove based R&B and they achieve an effortless mid-tempo swagger.

He pivots in a much more artistic direction for the song My Love of the Rain. Despite its trappings of a classic ballad, this song achieves far more than filling some simple formulaic requirements. My Love of the Rain ends up sounding like another of the album’s more emphatic personal statements and, in the end, about far more than just precipitation.

The title song might seem like a trifle to some with its abbreviated duration, but it’s more than just self-indulgence and shows different textures in Childers’ arsenal that earlier tunes don’t hint at.

No One Goes Dancing Anymore is reminiscent of the album’s more radio-friendly fare and builds around a tension-building bridge and appropriately climatic chorus, The undeniable zest he brings to vocal performances like these is something to hear.

Strangers is a much more muted and , once again, personal sounding tune than most while the penultimate song Throwing Shade saves some boisterousness for late in the game and is a guaranteed audience pleaser.

Paul Childers brings rare gifts to bear on these tracks and his gambles pay off quite well. It’s audacious without ever being gaudy, confident without ever being cocky, and has a musicality few musicians possess today.

If you enjoyed a preview from Naked Poetry, click here to visit the official website for Paul Childers. While you are at it, give him a like on Facebook by clicking here & a follow on Twitter by clicking here.

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