Paul Kloschinsky- Crime of Passion
The new studio album from Paul Kloschinsky, Crime of Passion, marks the sixth full length release from a Canadian born singer/songwriter whose talent level equals, if not exceeds, anything else that’s come from him yet. Kloschinsky, to a certain extent, openly sports his influences but they are never so overt as to seem gaudy and never lose their ability to reach the audience. He brings some unusual instrumentation to bear throughout the songs but, once again, it is never saw out of place as to strike some sort of incongruous note during the musical proceedings. Crime of Passion is largely centered around his acoustic guitar work and vocals, but the additional instrumental sounds help fill out his canvas with restrained and powerfully artful swaths of color. This is a fantastic performer who doesn’t come into the listener’s space beating on his chest. Instead, these are considered and well crafted slices of life in musical form.
He begins the release in fine fashion with the track “I’m Still Waiting”. This, in some respects, is a musical tale of abiding desire and its acoustic slant is no obstacle to Kloschinsky putting over the material with great energy and forcefulness. The tone of his guitar work has a slightly darker edge than what listeners will find on much of the album’s material, but it never fails to entertain. This remains an important focal point of Kloschinsky’s material. Even at his most intelligent and thoughtful, the material on Crime of Passion exhibits an undeniable musicality pulling listeners in with each performance. The album’s title track “Crime of Passion” expands on the intensity of the opener and his a sparse style that focuses listeners even more intently on the track’s message and Kloschinsky’s singing. He doesn’t have a classical sound as a singer, but there’s much in his singing approach that shows such merits cannot always be measured by conventional standards. “Soothe Me” is, nominally, a love song of sorts, but often times the lyrics show off intriguing subtexts we don’t often hear with this sort of material. Kloschinsky could certainly turn his hands to a simpler, straight forward expression of such sentiments, but life’s experiences are never that tidy and his songwriting reflects this accordingly.
“House on the Hill” is one of the album’s centerpiece moments and may prompt some listeners to recall similarly titled tracks and lyrics from artists as diverse as Hank Williams Sr. and Bruce Springsteen. Kloschinsky’s narrative gifts come to the fore here and he distinguishes himself as a lean, economical storyteller who never neglects to invest such compositions with strong musical backing never threatening to overshadow either the lyrics or vocal. Another of the album’s finest moments, “Gates of Heaven”, presents itself as a track very much in a tradition, but one of its strongest qualities is the way his personality clearly emerges from a long-standing song type. There’s much to praise about the passion in his delivery here, but he lets the lyric and music do the work without ever throwing things out of balance. Crime of Passion has much to offer fans of the singer/songwriter genre and will likely stand for some time to come as one of Paul Kloschinsky’s best recordings.