Paper Route – Real Emotion
Paper Route has finally released their third album. A double LP, Real Emotion features an unasked for plethora of unattractively long songs. The average song length is about 3 and a half minutes, and 4 tracks are just short fillers.
This could be a bummer for some of us who were hoping they would turn up the bpm. The faster songs had more energy and sustenance to them, whereas the slower songs, especially the slow songs on Real Emotion, drag.
There is also a focus on vocal melodies. Nothing new but one might feel it distracts from melody writing, which is definitely a fascination for Chad Howat and friends.
“Mona Lisa” is a good dance tune that should be a single and “Second Place” is a good classic throwback early 2000’s synth-rock song but the short songs are short and sweet, except the intro. The intro is dumb, but do not blame the intro for being dumb. Intros are almost always dumb. “Love is Red” is great and is the longest of the short songs at two and a half minutes.
I want to take a paragraph to talk about “Zhivago.” “Dr. Zhivago” is a film from 1965 with an amazing soundtrack. I got it for 50c on the discount vinyl rack last week. “Zhivago” track 12 from Real Emotion is prefaced by “Lara,” which already interludes into the song with the entire melody. By the time one finishes “Lara,” two thoughts surface: “Ah, that was a short one,” and “The melody was kind of boring.” The listener is then bombarded by a faster and more electronic three minutes of the same melody with very very little exposition.
If almost a full hour of music was not enough, Real Emotion also features the last four singles, “Zhivago” being one. Apparently the band really liked the singles, but did not want to release them as an EP, even though they already are an EP band with more EP’s then you can count on one hand if you lost a finger in an electrical accident at a gig you played at in that ghetto “café.”
I first saw Paper Route¬¬ in 2012ish with Switchfoot. I did not enjoy Switchfoot as much, but that was because I had seen them half a dozen times and all they played at this show was their crappy newer songs that sell millions of records. I was pleasantly surprised by Paper Route who really were doing something different. Really, they started too early and haven’t progressed very much. They seem to be just catching up to the unpredictable and meandering pop music, which changes awkwardly and doubles back again. If Paper Route keeps it up and maybe releases more albums instead of singles then they might fall out of obscurity. They could go any direction, really.