Assorted Chocolates

Paul Cote

Independent release, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


The greatest insult one can throw at a person following their passion is, "Don't quit your day job." Lord knows I've been told that thousands of times - and let me tell you, Dad, that really starts to hurt after a while, so cut it out, okay?

So I don't quite know how New York-based musician Paul Cote will take what I'm about to say: Paul, if you're reading, quit your day job. If your recently-released EP Assorted Chocolates is any indication of your talents as a songwriter and musician, you're going to knock the music world on its bloated ass in no time at all. If you're working a nine-to-five, give it up, and get ready to knock on every label's door with this CD. (Of course, if music my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 is your day job, Paul, don't quit it.) Anyone who doesn't see the potential behind it is either deaf or an idiot - and Lord knows I've seen enough instances of both in 15 years.

There is a reason why Cote was named one of New York's best unsigned artists by Billboard. With his bandmates - bassist Michael Burns and drummer Masa Amakura - Cote takes every single influence he's ever expeienced musically and throws them all into a Waring blender. What comes out is incredibly smooth, transcending style and classification and pleasing anyone who loves rock for rock's sake.

Tracks like "Lobuine" and "Jet Fighter" throw equal amounts of rock, soul, funk and pure emotion into one neat package. Sure, the overall production is a little rough around the edges - but somehow, that just serves to make the music all the more endearing, as if it was meant to be that way. You can occasionally hear where Cote double-tracked his vocals, but this isn't a terrible distraction. As long as the music he keeps cranking out is so captivating, I'm more than willing to overlook the small stuff.

Everyone seems to be making a big deal out of the song "Chinese Pictures," a song which I found took a little time to really get into. It's good, but the standout of this album could well be "Refrigerator Syndrome," a track which simply has it all. I defy you not to be able to fight the urge to get up and dance to this track - even if all you're doing is happily slamming yourself against the wall. It's an incredible piece of music.

Sure, I'd like to have had more than 21 minutes' worth of tunes to base an opinion on Cote, but there's more than ample proof on Assorted Chocolates that should convince some record company executive to give this guy a fighting chance. Who knows? Cote just might exceed their expectations - something, of course, which wouldn't surprise me. Cote seems to be marked for greatness - if only the right people would turn his way and listen.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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