Painton, A Picture

Jim Painton

Overdub Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I've said it before on these pages, and I'll say it again now: I absolutely hate giving unsigned artists bad reviews, simply because they are the ones trying to claw their way up the ladder of recognition, and I don't like being one person who tries to kick them back to the ground level.

Then, I get packages from artists like Jim Painton, who challenge me to, in Painton's words, "...give it to me with both barrels." Too bad he didn't give me a reason to fire off the shotgun, 'cause his disc my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Painton, A Picture is actually quite pleasing to listen to.

A collection of songs he's written over the course of his life, Painton finally entered the studio to put his life's dream into reality. And while the disc gets off to an uneven start (the weird chord progressions on "The Eddie Fan Club" were a bit much to get used to, despite the obvious Frank Zappa influence), Painton quickly gains momentum and doesn't let up for almost the entire disc.

Painton proves himself throughout this disc to not only be a master at self-deprecating humor ("Girls From High School", ""Consider Me") and love songs ("The Moon Is You", "Love Is To Be Shared," "Wife"). Shifting styles seems as natural to Painton as changing one's shoes; the listener will hardly notice the shift in focus on this disc.

Painton also serves as a social commentator, whether he means to or not, on tracks like "Cybergirl" (our growing dependence on the Internet for social interaction) and "Coney Island" (memories, both good and bad, of the legendary amusement park). Whatever his intention, Painton is able to create a solid mental picture for the listener; even if you've never been to Coney Island, Painton almost makes you feel like you're in the center of things.

Sure, sometimes the album sounds a little robotic; I would have preferred to have heard more acoustic instruments like drums (if they're on Painton, A Picture, I don't see them credited in the liner notes). Still, for an album that basically is comprised of one man's passion for music, he does a very admirable job of compiling a lifetime into under an hour.

Painton, A Picture is the type of disc you wouldn't necessarily pay a lot of attention to on the first glance - but the music on it proves that it's worth quite a bit of your attention.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Overdub Records, and is used for informational purposes only.